The Nigerian playmaker continues to stay relevant in the English top flight since breaking through as a youngster at Arsenal
Super Eagles midfielder Alex Iwobi has shed light on the difficult decision he faced when departing Everton to join Fulham during the summer transfer window, Soccernet.ng reports.
Iwobi had been part of the setup at Everton since his move from Arsenal in 2019.
The Nigerian star departed Everton on the summer transfer deadline day, with Fulham acquiring his services for a potential fee of up to £22 million.
The move appeared like the best option for the parties involved as Iwobi had entered the final year of his contract with Goodison Park.
It was clear that Everton were losing a key figure in the dressing room at Goodison Park.
During his spell at Everton, Iwobi played a significant role in helping the team narrowly escape Premier League relegation over the last two seasons.
Recognising his contributions, Iwobi was named Everton Players’ Player of the Year at the end of last season, owing to a series of stellar performances.
Everton’s manager, Sean Dyche, expressed his desire to retain Iwobi, but financial constraints faced by the club made it a sensible decision to transfer the Nigeria international.
In a conversation with The Athletic, Iwobi refrained from providing specific details but indicated that he left Everton on amicable terms, particularly with the fans who had warmed up to him after a challenging start in 2019.
He stated, “It wasn’t an easy decision (to leave). I enjoyed my time there. Especially the last couple of years. I felt like they warmed to me.
“At the same time, I felt I needed a new challenge, and Fulham are giving me the platform to express myself and do that.
“There was a lot of talks behind closed doors — there are things that I’m not allowed to say — but I feel like it was a decision from the club and from me that the best solution was to leave. I hope they do well, I have a lot of respect for them and left on good terms.”
Since he arrived at Fulham, Iwobi has already demonstrated his value to the team.
On his full debut, the 27-year-old playmaker made a substantial impact, contributing a goal and an assist that helped secure a 2-0 victory over Norwich in the EFL Cup.
Furthermore, his performance as a substitute against Chelsea on Monday night at Craven Cottage garnered praise, despite the team’s 0-2 defeat.