Alex Iwobi was somewhat forced out of Arsenal to Everton in the summer of 2019, according to his uncle Jay-Jay Okocha.

Everton's Nigerian midfielder Alex Iwobi celebrates after he scores his team's third goal during the English League Cup third round football match between Fleetwood Town and Everton at Highbury Stadium in Fleetwood, north west England, on September 23, 2020. (Photo by Dave Thompson / POOL / AFP)
Everton’s Nigerian midfielder Alex Iwobi celebrates after he scores his team’s third goal during the English League Cup third round football match between Fleetwood Town and Everton at Highbury Stadium in Fleetwood, north-west England, on September 23, 2020. (Photo by Dave Thompson / POOL / AFP)

Back on transfer deadline day in 2019, Alex Iwobi made a fairly surprising move to Everton for a fee in the region of £35-40m. Up until a day or so earlier, there hadn’t even really been any rumours that he might be on the way out.

According to Iwobi’s uncle Jay-Jay Okocha, the news came as a bit of surprise to the player himself as well. He was reportedly pushed to accept the deal that had already been done between the two clubs.

“I must confess that the move from Arsenal to Everton wasn’t an easy one from him,” Okocha said. “He wasn’t expecting it, it just happened.

“He got a call that there’s a deal for him and that he must oblige that deal, which wasn’t easy for a young player who has played all his life at Arsenal.

“You can see that now he’s a bit more comfortable. He has finally realised that Liverpool is his home now.”

Iwobi was a regular for Arsenal in his final season with the club. He made 35 appearances in the Premier League and 51 in all competitions, scoring six goals and assisting a further nine.

However, his situation was changed by the arrival of Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli, the emergence of Reiss Nelson and positive cameos from Bukayo Saka, plus Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang often playing out wide.

Arsenal didn’t need another winger as much anymore, and they did need the money to cover for a busy summer of spending. So the sale made sense from the club’s point of view, and Iwobi seemingly just had to come to terms with it.

It’s a shame, but Everton are a good club and he’s starting regularly for them, so it’s not all bad.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.