Alex Iwobi has been backed to become a better player at Everton but warned that “he has to work harder” than he did at Arsenal.
The 23-year-old, who was born in Lagos but grew up in the east London borough of Newham, became the Blues final signing of the summer transfer window when he completed a £28million switch with a deal sheet submitted to seal the move after the deadline had passed.
A homegrown hero for the Gunners having joined the club back in 2004 when he was still in primary school, Iwobi’s move to Goodison Park signifies a new chapter of his career after 149 games and 15 goals for his first side.
Former Everton defender Joseph Yobo, who was David Moyes‘ first signing for Everton in 2002 and went on to make 259 appearances for the Blues, believes that fellow Nigerian Iwobi’s game will actually develop more at his old club than it would have done had he remained at the Emirates Stadium.
Yobo told Goal: “I must commend Alex Iwobi for making that bold move.
“Everton is a quality team and I’m happy as an Evertonian that we acquired a talent like him.
“I think the main reason behind this is his playing time, and I’m sure he will get that but he has to work harder than what he does in Arsenal.
“Apart from that, he’s got everything to succeed and I’m not surprised that huge bid was made for him.
“In my own opinion, it’s a good move because staying with Arsenal, who brought in [Nicolas] Pepe, will reduce his playing time. Here, he will learn more which will make him grow and more matured in the game.”
Yobo, who won a record 101 caps for Nigeria, also reckons that Everton’s more structured style of play under Marco Silva will benefit both the Super Eagles and Iwobi who has turned out 36 times for the national side to date.
He added: “Nigeria do not play like Arsenal yet he plays very well and that’s why I say the Super Eagles will benefit from this move because we’ll see a better Iwobi.
“Nigeria will benefit more because we will see a more tactically disciplined and physically fit Iwobi because his talent has always been there. That will make him a more complete player.
“Although I agree that these teams play a different kind of football, I believe Everton are more structured. Arsenal are a good footballing side and play free-flowing football, but football doesn’t work that way.
“They have not been disciplined defensively in the past few years and that’s why they haven’t really won anything.
“Everton are a growing club, just a little bit behind the top four.
“We can only wish him good luck and hope he gets the goals which will give him more confidence.”
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