Alex Iwobi has explained why decided to leave Arsenal for Everton on deadline day, after spending the majority of his life in North London.
In a transfer saga that was over as quickly as it had begun, Iwobi moved to Everton for a reported £34m including add-ons last week.
The news of Everton’s initial £30m bid only broke a day earlier, but with the deadline on Thursday, it was wrapped up soon after they returned with an improved offer.
Once the fee was agreed between the two clubs, it was up to Iwobi to make the final call on whether or not to move on. The 23-year-old explained how Everton manager Marco Silva convinced him that was the right decision.
“The manager was telling me, ‘There is a spot for you, we will take care of you’. Basically, all the things you want to hear as a player,” Iwobi explained.
“I always had that youngster tag at Arsenal, so hopefully with this move, I am able to make a name for myself in the Premier League and create history with Everton.
“The manager has worked with Richarlison for a long while and made a name for him. Hopefully, he can do the same for not just me but Moise Kean and a few others who came in, too.”
Iwobi made 149 appearances for the Arsenal first team, scoring 15 goals and assisting a further 23. Despite that fact, it’s fair to say he’s right, in that he never completely shook off the idea he was one of the club’s youngsters.
It’s always going to be difficult getting rid of that tag when most fans have watched you play for the u21s, or make your first-team debut.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it generally buys you a bit more leeway with the supporters when things go wrong. Still, Iwobi clearly feels he’s ready to take on more responsibility as a fully-fledged professional at a new club. Good luck to him!