MANCHESTER, England (AP):There’s growing competition for discovery of the season in the English Premier League.Leading the way are N’Golo Kante, the box-to-box French midfielder propelling Leicester to an unlikely title triumph; Dele Alli, the Tottenham playmaker plucked from England’s third tier; and Marcus Rashford, Manchester United’s 18-year-old striker who seems born for the big time.Time to add Arsenal winger Alex Iwobi to the list.Iwobi, like Rashford, is a shy yet fearless teenager who has burst onto centre stage in the world’s most popular league in recent weeks. Arsenal’s all-star midfield is a tough department to break into, yet Iwobi has achieved it seemingly out of nowhere.He has started four of Arsenal’s last five matches, including a Champions League game away to the mighty Barcelona. He has scored and been named man of the match in the last two appearances, against Everton and Watford in the Premier League.Theo Walcott is in desperate need of game time to retain his place in England’s squad for the European Championship, but is currently playing second fiddle to Iwobi on the right wing.He may have to get used to it.Iwobi, 19, is the nephew of Nigeria great Jay-Jay Okocha and has been at Arsenal since the age of eight, having grown up in London. He is a powerful, hard-working, technically gifted attacker with an eye for goal just as Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger likes it.BIG HITIwobi, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez as the three floating forwards behind the main striker? It’s some prospect and already proving a big hit.”He is an intelligent boy who loves football, very passionate about the game, keen to learn, very humble as well,” Wenger has said of Iwobi.”It’s surprising how quickly he’s integrated into our game.”Iwobi’s accomplished display at the Camp Nou really made people sit up and take note of a player who didn’t start a game in the first half of the season. During the recent international break, Iwobi made his debut for Nigeria in a loss to Egypt – stamping his allegiance to the African country having played for England’s youth teams up to under-18 level.A call-up to Nigeria’s squad for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August is in the offing – but first he might just be Arsenal’s secret weapon as the team looks to secure a 19th straight season of Champions League football.Impressive wins over Everton and Watford have consolidated third place with seven games left, and even kept Arsenal with an outside shot at the title. That, however, would require an implosion by surprise leaders Leicester, who are seven clear of second-place Tottenham and 11 ahead of Arsenal, who have a game in hand.Arsenal visit West Ham tomorrow while Leicester travel to relegation-threatened Sunderland and Tottenham host Manchester United.TITLE IN SIGHTLeicester are grinding out the wins as they close in on arguably the most stunning title success in English football history, having picked up four straight 1-0 victories ahead of the trip to Sunderland.Sunderland are proving tough to beat of late, drawing their last four games, but have slipped four points from safety. Sunderland might be in more desperate need of the points at the Stadium of Light.
SACRAMENTO – The government wants you. That’s because the Internal Revenue Service is sitting on more than 5,000 refund checks – totaling over $5.7 million – that were mailed to Los Angeles County taxpayers this year but returned as undeliverable. “It’s only about 1 out of every 1,000 checks that don’t get into the hands of the taxpayers,” said IRS spokesman Victor Omelczenko. The agency also has 303 refund checks totaling $287,000 intended for taxpayers in Ventura County for their 2006 tax returns. A quick search of the lost property database turns up a range of famous names that shouldn’t be hard to locate – including Apple CEO Steve Jobs (who apparently is owed $37 from his own company). “Clearly the state of California has failed in ensuring the private property held by the state is returned to its rightful owners,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. Garin Casaleggio, a spokesman for Controller John Chiang, said that in the early 1980s the state Legislature cut funding for a locator unit that would track down missing owners. The office has still done some cross-checking but has not had the resources to go much beyond that, he said. However, Chiang said he recently re-established a five-person unit that will resume that function. harrison.sheppard@ dailynews.com 916-446-6723 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre When a check is returned to the IRS, the agency searches its own records to see if the original address was correct and to see if it has any other recent addresses on file for the same taxpayer. If the person cannot be located, the money is held by the U.S. Treasury indefinitely. Often, however, the check is sent to the taxpayer the following year, when the person files their next tax return with an updated address. Meanwhile, two California agencies are also holding property that belongs to residents who cannot be located. The California Franchise Tax Board has millions of dollars in unclaimed state tax refund checks. While the agency hasn’t yet compiled figures for the 2006 tax year, in the previous year more than $8 million in checks were returned as undeliverable. And the California State Controller’s Office is holding about $5.3 billion in 8.7 million accounts in unclaimed property that has accumulated over the years – ranging from the contents of safe deposit boxes to bank accounts and stock certificates.