clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Everton’s Recent Success Further Proof that Giving Up on Alex Iwobi isn’t Smart Business

New, comments

While the Nigerian began his time on Merseyside slowly, he has shown he belongs in his second campaign as a Toffee

Everton v West Ham United - Carabao Cup Fourth Round Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

When Marco Silva brought in Alex Iwobi he was believed to be capable of making an instant impact on the club. After the previous season he had enjoyed at Arsenal, this wasn’t necessarily a remarkable assumption to make for many; the results were far from as positive over the first year on Merseyside however.

The struggle to adapt up north and to his new team, during and after the Marco Silva era had concluded, and so the form that had brought him to Everton was constantly elusive. The suspension of play during the pandemic likely didn’t offer the team a great opportunity to come together in a faster, more fluid manner either, but with a year nearly passing since Don Carlo came to town, real progress has been made relating to the entire club, Iwobi included. It is the evidence of this, visible in recent matches in particular, that should make everyone bullish on his place in rotation moving ahead; selling him never made sense, and doing so wouldn’t be smart business.

Practically and Economically, Keeping Iwobi has its Perks

From a practical standpoint, the winger is still young, full of energy, creativity, expression and vibrance; the Brighton victory was just more evidence for Iwobi’s case after coming on early to replace Richarlison. So far during this young season, he has already scored and assisted at a rate that would far eclipse his lone assist and two goals across all competitions last year. To give up on what we’ve seen, with a world class manager and staff finally on board at Finch Farm and Goodison Park, feels shortsighted and unnecessarily defeatist.

And while he is contributing so well, impacting the team offensively and defensively, gaining confidence and volition by the match, the economics also suggest that Iwobi remains as well. While Everton paid a pretty penny to bring him from north London, it is difficult to imagine that an equal return can be garnered, let alone any profit at this time; are the straits so desperate that the Toffees should take a loss on the great talent, after only a year at the club, and still less under their current boss?

The answer is no of course, and for the loyalty that Don Carlo, Marcel Brands and Everton show them, they will be richly rewarded. The chemistry and ambition Iwobi will have to win at and for Everton, in part thanks to the belief the coaches have had in him, only creates stronger bonds and tougher clubs. This is incredibly important for the player and the club, for the brain trust at Goodison Park will require all of the internal and external talent they can muster.

Don Carlo had a Dream; Everton had a Dream!

Carlo Ancelotti came to Everton, not only because of the name and the history of the badge and clubs, but because of the wealth of young talent hidden away at Finch Farm as well. This talent, as well as the freedom to purchase players and build sustainably and organically, attracted him to the north of England, and he wishes to continue to work on it for the present and future. Would he love old favorites like Arkadiusz Milik or Hirving Lozano? There are few bosses who wouldn’t want either on the team to be sure, with Genaro Gattuso as a prime exception to this; however, moving players out to bring others in might only be marginally improving the team and club over the course of the players potentials and careers. Hence, new talent should only be brought in, at this point, should they not cost us players with real futures in the Royal Blue as is.

This holds as true and reasonable for the defensive side of the ball as well; moving offensive pieces away to secure names like Jean-Claude Todibo, Unai Nunez or Fikayo Tomori is also likely a simple case of addition by subtraction, and not one in which a positive connotation can be found. The Moise Kean move is a bit of an exception, as his sojourn at Paris will hopefully bring him further experience and ambition for whether he returns to Merseyside or goes on, With the news surrounding Ben Godfrey, now formerly of Norwich City, it appears as though Everton will not have had to worry about making any type of offensive-for-defensive sacrifice.

No, the Carlo Ancelotti Revolution on Merseyside will require lots of talent and ambition, on both sides of the pitch; luckily for him, he has so much of it already at Finch Farm. Many of his transfers have so far involved shoring up the middle of the field and right wing, surrounding youth with experience, ability with wisdom in the hopes that it will flourish when combined. So far, he is correct, and it has been massive for every Toffee whether young, old or in the middle; but a player like Alex Iwobi, as well as Kean for that matter, isn’t simply useful and important today, but tomorrow and in years to come. Discarding either or both of them simply wouldn’t be good for the present, or in the final analysis, the future either.