LIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, Aug 14 – Alex Iwobi wants to get rid of the ‘youngster tag’ attributed to him at Arsenal now that he has joined Everton as an important first-team player.
The Nigeria international left Arsenal last week after he completed a deadline-day move to Goodison Park. Everton paid an initial £28million for his services and the deal could eventually rise to £34million with potential add-ons.
Iwobi became the club’s seventh summer signing after he followed Jean Philippe Gbamin, Moise Kean, Andre Gomes, Fabian Delph, Jonas Lossl and Djibril Sidibe through the doors at Finch Farm.
After signing a five-year deal on Merseyside, Iwobi is under plenty of pressure but is ready to put himself in the spotlight this season.
The 23-year-old, who made 149 senior appearances for the Gunners and scored 15 goals, wanted a new challenge under Marco Silva.
He told Everton TV: “The offer was too attractive for me to turn down. 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.
“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 wideman has yet to make his debut for Everton after missing last Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace.
Iwobi had barely trained with the Toffees before the trip to London but he has stepped up the pace this week as Silva’s side prepare to face Watford at Goodison Park.
Richarlison, Bernard and Gylfi Sigurdsson were given the nodd against the Eagles and the trio are expected to start on home soil against Silva’s former side.
Competition for places at Everton has never been as fierce and a number of players are still fighting for starting spots in the final third. Theo Walcott still has plenty left in the tank, while Moise Kean is yet to be given a chance following his summer switch from Juventus.
Kevin Mirallas and Oumar Niasse remain on the books at Everton but face a fight to stay at the club and could well be on their way before the end of the European transfer window on September 2. Striker Cenk Tosun is also in the same boat as Silva tries to balance the books after a busy summer.