The Nigeria international was the Everton player with the most assists last season, but the Toffees allowed him to return to London
Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has expressed his astonishment over Everton’s decision to part ways with 27-year-old midfielder Alex Iwobi during the summer transfer window, Soccernet.ng reports.
Iwobi moved to Everton from Arsenal in the summer of 2019 and endured a couple of underwhelming campaigns at Goodison Park.
But the Super Eagles playmaker rediscovered his best form under Steven Gerrard and has been Everton’s best player over the last two seasons.
Last term, he was named the Players’ Player of the Year after helping the club narrowly avoid relegation.
But with a year left on his contract and extension talks not progressing as Everton would have liked, the club sanctioned the departure of the 26-year-old to Fulham.
However, it is a move that has not sat well with Gunners’ favourite, Wright.
Wright contends that the move signifies a noticeable decline in Everton’s performance and strategic choices.
The Arsenal icon emphasized Iwobi’s pivotal role in creating scoring opportunities within Sean Dyche’s team, labeling him as Everton’s most creative player in recent seasons.
“Everton have sold, for me, arguably, their best creative player in the last couple of seasons in Iwobi,” Wright said in an interview on Premier League Productions (via Liverpool Echo).
“And they sold him to Fulham. This is the level they have dropped to.
“I am not disrespecting Fulham. We are talking about Rooney to Manchester United, talking about big players, and even Arteta going to Arsenal.
“Players going to big clubs now. Everton are selling certain players, top players, to Fulham. That’s how far they have fallen off.”
Wright’s concern for Everton’s performance and strategic direction is compounded by the club’s recent struggles in the Premier League as they grapple with a shortage of victories.
Iwobi, often an underrated player, possesses unique qualities that Everton’s current midfield lacks.
While he may not be the most clinical finisher, his ability to easily carry the ball, his reliability without possession, and his versatility to operate in both midfield and on the flanks make him a valuable asset.