How Everton could use their £40m signing – opinion


It will be a strange sight for many Arsenal fans when they see their much loved Alex Iwobi in the blue and white strips of Everton.

The Toffees, at the last gasp of the transfer window; managed to secure the sort of attacker they have needed all summer long.

To their relief, they did so without spending a despicable amount of money on that man Wilfried Zaha, who was also a summer-long target of the club and was subject to a couple of bids rejected for the Ivorian.

From an Arsenal perspective, it might have been too good of an offer to resist, but one that still hurts all the same. The Nigeria International technically grew up at the club as he was with the Gunners since 2003(yes more than a decade).

In that regard, the North London side is his boyhood club and perhaps one he would always have an affinity for throughout his career.

However, Goodison Park is home now for the 23-year-old, and he looks like he probably has the tools to be a hit on Merseyside.

Just how well would he fit into Marco Silva’s plans and what likely positions could he play?

On the left

The average football fan will boldly make a claim that Alex Iwobi is a left-winger. Well yes, he is, but only because we saw him play there literally all of his time at Arsenal.

In actual fact, the Nigerian grew up as a central midfielder but saw himself deployed on the flanks due to his pace and direct approach to the game.

The 23-year-old can spend time on either side and can even play as an attacking midfielder (as said above) if Gylfi needs a spell.

Although given the fact that Richarlison was already spending a lot of time on the right at the end of last season this seems like a natural move.

His three goals in the league for last season pales in contrast to Richarlison’s 14 goals and Marco Silva will want a blend of goals and creativity available to him in his lineup.

In context, Iwobi could go take over from his Arsenal cue and play on the left as well while the young Brazillian flanks the other wing.

In the centre

The Nigeria international is also one of the league’s foremost exponents of passing the ball into the penalty area accurately, and he has the physicality to hold his own without the ball.

All of these will prove useful to an Everton side that has struggled for central creativity in recent seasons. Gylfi Sigurdsson is great from distance and takes a mean set-piece, but putting together an attack is a whole other matter, one that seems to fit the bill with Iwobi.

With the Super Eagles on international duty, he plays more centrally and is given the freedom to roam the midfield as he pleases. What we’ve seen as a result is more dangerous looking Alex Iwobi and with a relatively better goal threat while playing centrally.

But then the existence of a certain Gylfi Sigurdsson leaves us scratching heads over the possibility of that happening and hence, this seems very unlikely.

If there is one question about Iwobi, it is whether the quality he has shown in fits will translate over a larger volume of minutes.

The answer was unlikely to get any clearer, what with increased competition in the forward positions at the Emirates, and so here he is: in the spotlight, a slightly less harsh one.

The chance to be a leading man, to start games consistently and add the top-line metrics that catch the eye, is one which he is primed to take.