Arsenal legend Ian Wright may have been proven right over his claim surrounding former player Alex Iwobi. He believes the Nigeria international, who left the Gunners for Goodison Park for £35million in August 2019, is exactly what Mikel Arteta could do with in his squad.
The forward has been converted to a midfielder under Frank Lampard at Everton, using his energy both on and off the ball, as well as the creative spark he possess to shine for the Toffees. This has led him to being nominated for the Premier League Player of the Month award for September.
While there’s still plenty more to come from Iwobi, it certainly backs up Wright’s claim, when he previously said on the Wrighty’s House Podcast: “His ball progression and work rate, what Frank [Lampard] has now recognised him and put him there, listen to the Everton fans when he’s doing his work, they are adoring him now. I’m loving the way it’s working out for Iwobi.
“I’m just talking about somebody who’s making a massive difference to what Everton need – the work rate, his ball progression, his passing, everything. He’s the pass before the assist, people don’t realise it. Everton fans are now starting to realise that if they get the right players in and around him, he’s going to be a force for them.
“You look at his work rate, it’s unbelievable. It’s the kind of intensity that Mikel [Arteta] wants now and needs now, we [Arsenal] need that, we need somebody who can press like that.”
It’s proven a huge turnaround from his Arsenal days and his early Everton career but it’s not too far from where former teammate Alexis Sanchez believed he could be. Speaking back in 2017, the Chilean said: “I really like Alex [Iwobi].
“He’s a player that can play up front, in the centre, he’s good at one on ones. If he has a winning mentality and keeps pushing forward, I think he can do very well. I really like him.”
Arsenal may now be regretting that his best days may not be with them after moving him on. However, the change of environment and position may have been just as crucial in him reaching the current heights he is finding.