The Super Eagles playmaker completed a move from Arsenal to Everton on transfer deadline day to become the most expensive Nigeria footballer in history.
The 23-year-old signed a five year deal for a reported 35 million pounds to headline a raft of seven new recruits that made their grand entry into Goodison Park during the summer window.
…and 1⃣ #NaijaBoy 🇳🇬
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 8, 2019
After spending a combined sum of 120 million pounds in the summer, Everton’s objective has become clear: the Toffees want to make the top six this season.
💬 "Alex has made a big contribution at Arsenal. He worked hard in the academy, where he was an example to many young players and has been an important part of our squad. We wish Alex every success in the future." – Unai Emery
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 8, 2019
To achieve that, one of the traditional big six would have to drop out.
Manchester City and Liverpool are near certainty for the top two spots. Tottenham are a close third. However, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal are at different stages of their rebuilding process and a spirited challenge from Everton could knock any of them off their privileged perch.
Alex Iwobi could spearhead such a challenge for the Toffees. Everton have the ammunition to square up against the best sides in the English Premier League. Manager Marco Silva now boasts of one of the most potent forward line in the country, with the Nigeria international joining the likes of Theo Walcott, Andre Gomes, Richarlison and Bernard upfront.
They are capable of matching up to any team on any given day. Even more, Alex Iwobi has the potential to give a cutting edge like no other to this Toffees team.
However, to be the best for club and country, Iwobi has to shed his Arsenal academy graduate toga and step up to be Everton’s go-to man.
At Arsenal, he was predominantly used as a winger but chances are that Marco Silva may ask him to give more to the side from a central role. But in whatever role he’s deployed, the former England youth international cannot afford to sit and sulk and scream for his Arsenal days. That chapter is now a part of his past.
True that the young man’s numbers at Arsenal – 11 league goals and a few assists in 100 appearances – cannot be described as being impressive but he was one of the Gunners’ biggest chance creators. He can do much better at Goodison Park than his three league goals last season.
The young prince of the nutmeg has to add the end product to his game. If he gets double figure each for number of goals scored and assists created, Everton might not be far from their targets.
Alex Iwobi’s final goal for Arsenal was one to remember ✨https://t.co/90CKV7qGnG
— B/R Football (@brfootball) August 8, 2019
Much more his expected of him even in the green and white.
Presently, the most expensive Nigeria footballer ever is not even the best player in the Super Eagles with Odion Ighalo and Samuel Chukwueze earning more applauds at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, where the ex-Arsenal winger scored a solitary goal and zero assist.
That has to change. At Arsenal, he could be treated with kid gloves after every mediocre performance because he’s “one of our own”. At Everton, he’ll be evaluated based on his stats and if those are poor, then the 40 million pound-rated player would be considered a flop.
Alex Iwobi can help Everton take the next step to greater heights. All it takes is in putting in the effort to maximize his potentials to the benefits of the team. In so doing, he’ll be not only the best at Goodison Park but also in Africa.