One of the more surprising moves on deadline day was Alex Iwobi’s switch from Arsenal to Everton for a fee that could rise to £35million. Many have questioned the signing from the Toffees. However, Everton’s director of football Marcel Brands has shown himself to be a shrewd operator in the transfer market. This deal could be another shrewd move from the Dutchman.
Iwobi fits Everton’s profile
Brands and Everton boss Marco Silva seem to have developed a transfer strategy of signing hunger, younger players who can further develop. The signing of Iwobi fits that profile perfectly. At just 23 years of age, Iwobi still has time and the ability to improve in the near future. The Nigerian international was seen as a potential superstar when coming through the ranks at Arsenal.
Will maybe see more game time at Everton
The fact that Iwobi has not played that regularly at Arsenal during his career. Despite not always starting, the versatile star has played over a hundred times in the Premier League.
At his age, he needs to be playing on a regular basis to start fulfilling his potential. Iwobi has technical ability, vision, pace and he works hard. However, he may need to work on his decision-making and also become a better finisher.
A record of 11 goals in a century of top-flight appearances shows that he needs to improve his composure in front of goal. Maybe he will become more composed with further experience.
Marco Silva has talked about Iwobi being a talented winger. Iwobi is highly versatile though, as he has played as a central midfielder or as a number ten. The youngster played as a number ten for Nigeria as a number ten at the African Cup of Nations. His performances were pretty assured.
In Iceland, number ten Gylfi Sigurdsson, the Toffees have a player who is turning 30 this season. Iwobi could well become Sigurdsson’s long-term replacement.
Toffees boss Silva is regarded as a very good coach, who helps develop young players. The Portuguese coach could just be the right man to help Iwobi improve and develop into a much better player.
Everton are a big danger to the top-six
It seems that Everton could be a big threat to last seasons top-six. The Toffees may have lost central midfielder Idrissa Gueye, but they have also brought in some very promising signings. The signing of exciting young forward Moise Kean from Juventus is a particularly eye-catching capture. Ivorian central midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin looks to be a good one too.
The 23-year-old is a more disciplined defensive midfielder than Gueye. He also brings a physicality that Gueye could not in the heart of midfield. All the signs suggest he is built for the English top-flight.
The only real concern for the Toffees this season is the lack of central defensive options, with Michael Keane, Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate their only senior options at the heart of the Blues defence. Youngster Lewis Gibson is likely to be the Merseysider’s fourth choice central defender.
If they can overcome their lack of defensive options, then Everton could seriously threaten the established order in the Premier League this season. Hopefully, the move will prove pivotal in the career development of Alex Iwobi too.
Can Alex Iwobi become a better player at Everton?