Alex Iwobi says that he was lured to Everton by Marcel Brands and Marco Silva who promised him that there was a place for him at Goodison Park.
The Blues' final signing of the 2019 close season was secured right before the transfer deadline, with a deal initially worth £28m confirmed later in the evening that saw the Nigerian international move from Arsenal.
Iwobi made over 100 Premier League appearances for Arsenal, including 28 last season but without ever nailing down a guaranteed place in Unai Emery's team. Capable of playing wide on the left, in a forward partnership or centrally behind the striker, Iwobi may have been disadvantaged by his versatility at The Emirates Stadium but it could his strength at Goodison Park.
Brands and Silva secured Moise Kean from Juventus to compete with Dominic Calvert-Lewin at centre-forward but were looking for a direct but creative option to play out wide or through the middle to bolster the team's goal threat.
A big-money move for Wilfried Zaha fell through but Iwobi was signed at the last minute, an offer the 23-year-old says he couldn't refuse.
“The offer was too attractive for me to turn down,” Iwobi told evertonfc.com.
“The manager was telling me, ‘There is a spot for you, we will take care of you'. Basically, all the things you want to hear as a player.
“I always had that youngster tag at Arsenal, so hopefully with this move I am able to make a name for myself in the Premier League and create history with Everton.
“It is exciting times for Everton. I was able to look at the transfers and players they have brought in — some great talent.
“It is not just me. There were quality players here before [the summer] and they are still here.
“The manager has worked with Richarlison for a long while and made a name for him.
“Hopefully he can do the same for not just me but Moise Kean and a few others who came in, too.”
Iwobi wasn't registered in time to face Crystal Palace last weekend but it is unlikely he would have been able to start given his late return from Africa Cup of Nations duty with Nigeria.
He might be considered for Saturday's clash with Watford, however, a game that could also full home debuts for Kean and Jean-Philippe Gbamin.
Reader Comments (48)
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1 Posted 13/08/2019 at 19:45:42
Personally, I hope he proves to be the creative player we are currently missing in the central position.
2 Posted 13/08/2019 at 20:11:14
4 Posted 13/08/2019 at 20:15:30
5 Posted 13/08/2019 at 20:42:03
At the risk of sounding like Louie Walsh, he reminds me of a Steven Pienaar – albeit a bigger, faster, stronger version. Hope he proves me right.
6 Posted 13/08/2019 at 20:53:51
Excited to see how he does this season.
7 Posted 13/08/2019 at 21:38:35
Basically it's similar to how we would feel if we sold Tom Davies – probably not a massive loss to the team overall but we'd be sorry to see him go.
8 Posted 13/08/2019 at 21:51:29
Silva under pressure to play him then! lol
9 Posted 13/08/2019 at 21:55:12
10 Posted 13/08/2019 at 22:05:02
I wonder if Silva sees him more as a central option. Having some successful ball carriers in the middle will really help us attack I think.
We won't see this team this weekend but at some point I'd like to see a 4-3-3 with:
Coleman Keane Mina Digne
Gomes Gbamin Iwobi
Richarlison Calvert-Lewin Kean
With Kean and Richarlison not playing too wide but looking to run off Calvert-Lewin like Mane and Salah do for RS.
11 Posted 13/08/2019 at 22:10:38
14 Posted 13/08/2019 at 22:26:29
This suggests to me something resembling a ‘fluid' 4-5-1 away from home. so probably Calvert-Lewin & Kean will rotate as the ‘1'.
Am looking to see how Delph & Iwobi will be fitted in as both are good at bringing the ball forward. In other words, I haven't a clue what Marco has in mind!!
16 Posted 13/08/2019 at 23:04:45
17 Posted 13/08/2019 at 23:23:20
18 Posted 13/08/2019 at 23:32:10
A lot of what is needed is down to decision making, he has to learn to make the right decision more than he has before, with that will come game time and confidence, then he can set his stall up to become a big player for the blues.
I'd say a fair target would be double figures in terms of goals, maybe 15 to 18 in goals and assist, this should be something an attacking player should be doing to become a main stay, just as Richalison and Siggy have done last season.
Players often just click into gear, a new contract, a change of position, a new manager, but more often a new club is the best solution. Like he has said himself he was always a kid at Arsenal, but at Everton he has come in as a big money signing, an established international who is at an age were he should be ready to take his game to the top level over the course of the next few years.
Let's hope we can watch him do it.
19 Posted 13/08/2019 at 23:43:52
Players need a kick up the rear when they are not performing and need to be given a clear message from Silva that we have a squad and it will be used when we are under-performing.
You do not play 150 games for Arsenal (by the age of 23) without having quality. For what it is also worth, the three Arsenal fans I know were disappointed that Iwobi was not retained by the Gunners and they are supporters that expect trophies!
20 Posted 13/08/2019 at 23:56:52
Interesting, because he wasn't awaiting his breakthrough at Arsenal, nor was he "nailed on" every week. Having said that, 100 first-team appearances is (yet again) "interesting".
What his signing does emphasise is a dressing room full of lads of a similar age... And, if MS gets them to gel, then he can ignite a team set for a decade.
"Band of Brothers".
21 Posted 14/08/2019 at 02:21:13
22 Posted 14/08/2019 at 02:51:21
23 Posted 14/08/2019 at 03:23:55
If he can eradicate all / some of those misdirected passes then he should prove to be a decent signing. If he can add some goals as well then I think he could be an excellent signing. Not sure who he is expected to be competing with for a starting spot but if he makes himself a definite first choice then he will be doing well and the team should improve because of it.
I don't assume he is guaranteed a starting role, just that Silva has promised he will get a fair crack of the whip if he rises to the challenge.
24 Posted 14/08/2019 at 05:35:03
Never interested in Zaha, just playing palace week one.
Never interested in Dacoure, just playing Watford week 2
Iwobi always the real target, just cloak and daggers to make it look like last minute alternative.
25 Posted 14/08/2019 at 05:45:03
26 Posted 14/08/2019 at 08:53:42
So it appears this deal is more transfer magic from Marcel Brands...I go with Jim Harrison's theory!
27 Posted 14/08/2019 at 09:39:46
He also had more assists and created more big chances than any Everton player bar Sigurdsson. What makes these stats even more impressive is that although he played 35 games he was only on the pitch for a total of 1976 minutes.
At 23, playing 90 minutes each week and getting coaching from Silva, he can only improve. On top of all that, his versatility will be very handy and I think we might have a player and half on our hands.
28 Posted 14/08/2019 at 11:19:09
29 Posted 14/08/2019 at 12:12:09
But what did Unai Emery, one of the best coaches in Europe, not see in the lad?
30 Posted 14/08/2019 at 12:23:13
31 Posted 14/08/2019 at 12:28:04
Mike, I think Emery had no choice over Ramsey who Arsenal had already allowed to run his contract into a final season, and he was already set for a Bosman, and had no doubt been promised mega money as the buyers would not have to pay a transfer fee.
32 Posted 14/08/2019 at 12:28:20
Emery may have had nothing to do with the decision as I'm sure he would rather have such a versatile player in his squad.
33 Posted 14/08/2019 at 13:04:34
34 Posted 14/08/2019 at 13:41:56
35 Posted 14/08/2019 at 15:06:45
I have to admit I was totally surprised by his acquisition, but not disappointed either, of course time will tell if he has been a good choice or not.
He may turn out to be a bargain we will just have to wait and see, I am looking forward to seeing him play and he has my backing as a supporter.
36 Posted 14/08/2019 at 17:36:50
However, someone else linked an article with Iwobi's stats and how he consistently is top 10 in the Premier League in dangerous passes in the penalty box, and I can only say that if he can do that for us he could transform our attack into something beautiful to watch.
My only hesitations are 1) Possibly Everton players don't stay in motion in the attacking 3rd like Arsenal teammates would have 2) Iwobi becomes a great passer but his finishing isn't great.
Still I'm optimistic that for us he will become one of our best players – not to mention his versatility! I think he can do just about anything Bernard can do and hopefully score more goals.
37 Posted 14/08/2019 at 17:44:09
38 Posted 14/08/2019 at 17:52:21
The midfield and right flank are not mobile or fast enough and Everton are too dependent on Sigurdsson as the main attacking midfielder and creator. Walcott was largely anonymous most games he played in. He consistently achieve the least amount of touches than any other outfield Everton player.
Iowbi should help attacking play through the centre. I am looking forward to him playing along side a fully-fit Gbamin.
39 Posted 14/08/2019 at 18:03:59
40 Posted 14/08/2019 at 20:51:15
Last season when we battered them at Goodison, and should have had 8, when on the ball he had some good touches but was mashed Everton steamed into their midfield and ran them ragged.
Hopefully hell recall the atmosphere that day and this will also spur him on.
It would be great to really turn Watford over this Saturday in good style.
41 Posted 14/08/2019 at 21:38:30
That goal in 79 is still a beautiful thing, ground went mental.
Bless you Andy x
42 Posted 14/08/2019 at 22:22:16
I often find their actual ability is masked with playing with better players. They have more options, space and can afford to make errors in the attacking third.
Someone noted of Fabian Delph playing left-back for Man City, is not playing left-back for Everton, he would undoubtedly get found out having to defend considerably more than at City.
Iwobi too might find the same as he transitions to Everton. I monikered him the Nigerian Barkley, supremely gifted but lacking in brains.
He deffo adds to what we have but has a lot to prove. I hope he finds a niche quickly, Sam earlier alluded to the 4-3-3, Bernard & Sigurdsson best get their act together.
43 Posted 14/08/2019 at 00:09:57
I'd love to see us play 4-3-3 with Iwobi in for Siggy and rotating from central to left with Bernard. We have Kean and Richarlison who could also interchange and I'd love to see us line up as -
Pickford, Sidibe, Keane, Mina, Digne, Gbamin, Gomes, Iwobi, Bernard, Kean, Richarlison.
With Lossl, Coleman, Holgate, Gibson, Baines, Schneiderlin, Delph, Davies, Sigurdsson, Walcott, Calvert Lewin, Tosun as cover.
No margin for poor performances now as we have decent cover in every position, especially at RB and CAM, so Silva has to balance gelling his squad with also being ruthless when necessary!
44 Posted 15/08/2019 at 03:35:17
Evertonians have every right to feel that there have been far too many mistakes made over many years. Most of us just hope that the next signing will be the one that really makes a difference. I have a bit more belief of late that the present group of players could bring about that next step to providing patient and loyal fans with a decent team that is just a hope of an optimist.
45 Posted 15/08/2019 at 07:08:37
I think it is more frustration, than impatience.
Most fans would have preferred a more productive pre-season and fitter players. It was the same last season. The fact that this hasn't happened and usual weaknesses are apparent going forward, after the first game a carbon copy of last season, doesn't help.
A saviour forward does not seemed have been the priority. This has lead fans to think in terms of tactics and changes to help existing players.
By the arrival of new players, it is hoped that improvement and changes materialise. Of course you are right it will take time for them to bed in.
But the loss of Gueye is being keenly observed and Schneiderlin's minicing role, which he was not fit enough to do, resulting in a red card compounds the problems. Gomes injured suddenly makes the midfield options tighter.
So Everton now play Watford and the pattern is reinforced, with Lincoln added for good measure.
It's like Groundhog Day. . .
46 Posted 15/08/2019 at 08:19:49
Iwobi scored the second goal that afternoon and I remember thinking that the looked looked fantastic and a real powerful runner.
His career has yet to fully get into the swing of things but hes shown he has quality, the goal in the Europa League Final was sublime and if he can find consistency here and end product then he will endear himself.
Consistently and end product going forwards are two things we have been crying out for now for a long time, its ok making nice approach play but not having the bullets to fire does nothing.
As I say, goals win matches, and winning matches evidently means you are progressing well.
47 Posted 15/08/2019 at 13:54:15
48 Posted 15/08/2019 at 15:13:45
49 Posted 15/08/2019 at 17:54:43
50 Posted 15/08/2019 at 18:53:38
51 Posted 15/08/2019 at 19:32:17
52 Posted 17/08/2019 at 00:53:24
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