Iwobi: I always had that youngster tag at Arsenal


Alex Iwobi says he’s hoping to make his mark on Everton’s history after securing a big-money move to Goodison Park. 

With 15 minutes left of transfer deadline day, news broke that the Toffees were willing to part with up to £40 million for the Nigeria international and Arsenal, eager to balance the budget after a summer of recruiting, decided to do a deal.

It came as a bit of a surprise but it looks as though all parties are happy with the way things have turned out.

Iwobi is eager to become an established star, Everton are splashing the cash and have a new stadium on the way and the Gunners have potentially pocketed a club-record fee for a departing player.

Now that the dust has settled on his move, the 23-year-old explained why he decided to take on the Everton challenge.

The offer was too attractive for me to turn down,” said Iwobi.

“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.

“He has given me the confidence I will do well. I am ready for a new challenge and chapter in my life.

“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.

“Hopefully I will be able to take on a bit more responsibility and add something to the team as well.”

Having been a Gunners since he was at primary school, it’s sad to see Alex leave. We wish him the best in his new surroundings.

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Ex-Priest Tobin

I thought they would’ve learned better after Walcott. Outstanding fee for a mediocre talent.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Ex Priest, I recently watched great Arsenal goals in the past as I enjoy being stuck to the past of this great club. Walcott scored two great goals where he run, was tackled and pushed down, stood up, won the ball, even a couple of dribbles and bang, goal! Theo wasn’t a bad player. He needed a team that could play to his strength not a wengerball team. Drogba wouldn’t have been a success with Arsenal. Same for Iwobi, he needed to learn how to score goals. Young Henry used to say how Ian Wright was his role model and… Read more »


When you +10years of total trust from your manager there is no excuse. The low transfer fee we got for a player in his best years and with us much experience as Walcott indicates the same. I really wanted him to blossom at Everton though. Drogba? I watched him at Marseille, never forget how he as a teenager kept the complete Valencia defence occupied in A uefa cup final, almost earning 10 man marseille the title. He would have been a complete monster at Arsenal, don’t see a single reason why he wouldn’t.

Christopher Wreh-Kamp

I agree…
He would have been phenominal at Arsenal.
If we’d have taken him instead of Chelse at that time I think we’d have had a little longer sustained success and we’d have seen a different attitude from the senior members that departed very quickly over time which would have helped the younger generation and the new recruits to gel and learn from the winners that we had at the time.
All subjective obviously and impossible to prove but just my thoughts.

Andy Mack

Drogba was mid-20s at Marseille.
I saw Drogba play for Le Mans (around 2001 – he was early 20s)) and he was really really poor. Very physical but his first touch was so poor he gave the ball away all the time.


You are right, he was in his mid 20ies, but at Marseille he was anything but poor, he ticked all the boxes in terms of ability and desire to become great.

Public Elneny

Walcott and Iwobi are nothing alike


Totally Agree in terms off their capabilities, but they fell short in away that feels similar. Neither oozed of the confidence required to make it, both lacked the game reading / decision making required at a team that wants to dominate their opponent. iwobi does however have that precious skill of beating his opponent even in tight areas, it’s the proceeding end product to that skill that he didn’t convince With. Lack of confidence? Or lack of game reading skill, not sure, but When I read “I was always seen as a youth…” and “hopefully my new manager will make… Read more »


The main difference between them was that Iwobi always worked hard. His deficiencies came from his decision making – really only in the box. Walcott was a guy who could run really fast finish and who thought that was enough. If he ever tried half as much as Iwobi, he would have been world class. But not Theo. He would rather dodge a 50-50 challenge in a game we desperately needed to win to challenge for the title in the one season in over a decade. I might have been unhappy with Iwobi’s finishing, but I never had any issues… Read more »


Fatgooner is that you?


Love to compare two players at different stages of their careers who play in completely different positions and are different ages.


Wilshere bis… saying three weeks ago that despite the (then announced) arrival of Zaha, he’d fight for his place, suddenly, ouch, he leaves. Well, bye bye Alex, not missing you as a player, but you are a good guy.


That’s a bit harsh mate..hes a good player and hes one of us.. good luck to the lad


@Uhtred, it doesn’t sound like is Alex is one of us at all. Always liked Iwobi, can’t be easy breaking through at Arsenal

Keeping it Monreal

I’m pretty sure arsenal would have had a big say in him moving on. I somewhat doubt he was eager to leave

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Coaches usually say: I cannot guarantee you game time anymore.
I hope in this case, they told him that they needed money.


I disagree. I was really angry and upset when I first heard Alex was going to be leaving but then I noticed his body language compared to say Jenko’s (pretty sure Jenko was wearing his Arsenal top under his Notts Forest one). Alex looks relieved.
There’s no doubt he’s a Gooner at heart but he has been treated poorly by certain sections of the fans and I don’t blame him for wanting a new challenge. Good Luck to him.


I disagree. I was really angry and upset when I first heard Alex was going to be leaving but then I noticed his body language compared to say Jenko’s (pretty sure Jenko was wearing his Arsenal top under his Notts Forest one). Alex looks relieved.
There’s no doubt he’s a Gooner at heart but he has been treated poorly by certain sections of the fans and I don’t blame him for wanting a new challenge. Good Luck to him.

My Cousin Vinai

See this right here? This is a perfect example as to why sometimes it doesn’t pay to be loyal as a player.
You stay with a club, fans abuse you and call you shit.
You leave the club, after club accepts £40M (someone needs to tell Alex that a good way to make a player not feel wanted is to accept an offer for them), you’re abused for being a coward for not fighting for your spot.

Can’t win either way.

Good luck Iwobi. Hope regular play-time in a central role finally unleashes your potential.

Mayor McCheese

Well, to be fair, there aren’t many fans calling Iwobi “sh*t” and “coward”. Really in the minority. Some of us, though, feel Iwobi did not have the quality to match what we expect of Arsenal’s ambitions and performances. That’s not the same thing as “sh*t coward”. I hope Iwobi has a long and great career. I’m sure he’ll do well at Everton. But we need more consistent, more effective players at Arsenal. I’m sorry it didn’t work out at his boyhood club, but, at the top, few such players do. That’s the reality.


You obviously a keyboard ranter he grew as a player and pulled his weight all the best iwobi.


With Gnabry doing very well in Bayern, it would be interesting to see how Iwobi copes with the new environment. Wenger chose to play Iwobi a lot a few seasons ago while Gnabry was always at the periphery after his injury. Anyway goodluck to him at Everton and hope he’s able to fulfill his potential, except when he’s facing us of course.

Dave M

Very well might just be overstating it a little. Gnabry is now 24, he is a rotational player at Bayern Munchen. He had a good year with them 42 games 13 goals 9 assists. But he’s not yet first choice and if he is going to make it this is a really his year. Will he? Maybe, but there are still many in Germany hoping to see more from him as he hasn’t fully taken off yet. His transfer was a funny one and clearly there were back room schenanigans from Bayern going on, but it seemed he really wanted… Read more »

Parlour's Paypacket

42 games doesn’t make him sound like much of a rotational player…

Dave M

49 games in total for Bayern, Gnabry started 30 and played 12 off the bench. Point is he isn’t quite there yet, but he has a massive chance this year without Robben/Ribery and no big name signing on the wing. I guess this is the year whether he makes it to the pinnacle or not. He’s not there yet is all I’m saying.

A Different George

I think he is indeed first choice at Bayern now (with Robben retired), and close to that with Germany. But your most important point is right: he wanted to go back to Germany and that was well known. Realistically, that severely limited our bargaining power in selling him.

Dave M

There is a lot on internal talk in germany and Bayern if Gnabry is good enough to be the long term successor to Robben/Ribery; is he a great player or a good player? A lot of people want a big-name signing on the wings. Like I said this is a HUGE year for him with those two retired.


Gnabry most definitely broke through last season for Bayern, was their player of the year and was given a 3 year contract extension in May making him their first choice in the team for this season and beyond. He also broke through into the German national team with some outstanding man of the match displays last few times Germany have played. He’s a future German captain no doubt.

Yet another one given away by us to flourish elsewhere…



How is he acting like he never got chances at Arsenal, you played 35 times last season, season before you played a lot and you failed to produce. All the best and all that but, why does he act like we never took him seriously, I haven’t seen Iwobi as a youngster for the last two seasons and I’m sure its same with everyone else.

Awkward footballer, good luck at Everton.

My Cousin Vinai

Man, people will read whatever they want to read.
Where did he say he didn’t get chances?

What he’s saying is he’s coming to Everton with expectancy and responsibility, whereas for the most part up until Guendouzi came, he was seen as a youngster in the squad, sometimes scene when he would misplace a place and Ozil would give him the glare.

He’s saying he’s relishing the opportunity and responsibility of being a senior and core player at Everton.


I think it’s a fair interpretation of the “viewed as a youngster” comment to suggest he either didn’t get chances or wasn’t taken seriously.

I agree he was awkward, lots of action with very little result and terrible, terrible defending.


Do you not read between the lines?

My Cousin Vinai

That’s the thing about the gaps between the line; they’re empty, and can be filled with one’s imagination.


Among our forwards, he was the most consistent one at tracking back.
Your ‘terrible, terrible defending’ opinion about Iwobi is like Neymar – falls at the lightest touch or even without.


Mate – not sure which Iwobi you were watching last season but his defending was pretty much non-existent! Check his OPta stats – just about the worst def stats in the EPL. He only seemed to come to life when we won the ball back and started moving forward, otherwise would trudge around, socks down and usually at least 5-10m from any opposition player. Despite being a big lad, he won very few 50/50s and zero aerial duels. Granted, when he had the ball, he was tricky and powerful – but final pass would too often be misplaced.Nice lad but… Read more »


Hope he does well, great pedigree and still young.

Just not against us though please Alex.

SB Still

It would be great if he nets the winner against ManU


And Liverpool

Dave M

And $p*r$

Gutbukkit Deffrolla


North London is Redder

He can net the winner against spurs, city and Chelsea too please.

Vic Kasule

Mixed emotions. I want him to do well but not too well. Always seemed like a lovely chap though.


I thought Iwobi would be leaving when Blogs published this article on how Iwobi claimed the only reason he would leave Arsenal was due to lack of playing time.

Eduar-do a deer



Such insight. Fair play for spotting it bro.

Johnny 4 hats

Take a bow son.

Cultured determination

Is he going to play in the wings for them or the no. 10 role?


I think Iwobi was a better player than he was given credit for, and would have much preferred to have sold Ozil or Mkhitaryan.

My worry with Iwobi was stamina, he used to fade in games.

But he’s at a good age, with a decent amount of experience, and I think he’ll surprise a few people at Everton.


Exactly. Lack of stamina was definitely an issue with him, but he was generally a very good player. Best wishes Iwobi and hope to see you doing better at our national team.


Probably wide, as Everton have plenty of players in the center of the park (though this assumes they use the same formation they employed last year).


He was ‘in the wings’ at Arsenal mate – that’s why he left!


All the best mate! $40m for a squad player is excellent business! Hope we’ve also slapped on a 15% sell on clause teehehe…

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

He was almost playing every Arsenal game. Was part of starting XI.

Dave M

You’re right: 51 games, 6 goals and 9 assists. He was a first team player last year, but we also need to improve on last season and those numbers don’t really stack up that well. Good luck to him and he would have been a good squad player this year, but I think we successfully move to improve his position with Pepe, potential of Martinelli, and growth of young guys in Sahka and Nelson. We all would have preferred it be Mihki I’m sure, but there were no takers and with the wages and signings someone had to go. End… Read more »


It actually isn’t £40 mill , it’s £27.5 mill with add ons that can see it rise to £34 mill


Is that so? Would have rather kept him for that price

Pepe Le Pew

Amazing talent, amazing athlete. Sad to se him leave but Nelson will cover his position. COYG


I get this wrenching feeling in my stomach each time I see a comment where Iwobi is criticized or written off by some gunners.

He is very talented and I am sure he will cut it in the Premier League. I have a number of friends who support rival clubs and they have always had high praise for Iwobi.

I understand the rationale behind selling him off to Everton but he is one of us and let’s wish him well and stop slagging him off.


That’s something I’ve noticed as well. I can think of a couple of occasions last season where fans of a rival team told me that Iwobi was our best player on the day, even though we ended up losing the game. He gave us something different and direct, and always tried to make an impact. Hopefully Pepe and Nelson will be able to do the same this season (but with much more end product!).

John C

But that’s the problem with him isn’t it, he got so much of the ball his numbers should have been off the charts and they weren’t. It’s almost as if the opposition were more than happy for him to have the ball at the expense of others who where more dangerous.


Sobering to realise this is the largest transfer fee we’ve received


It just proves we are not a selling club


No, it proves we’re crap at squad management and selling in general


we sold Ox for 35m so that is incorrect.

A Different George

Come on–transfer fees have soared in the past few years (far, far, more than just general inflation). It’s meaningless to compare recent fees to old ones on a pound-for-pound basis. It’s much more useful to compare a particular fee to what other players in a position were getting then.

Dave Cee

Exactly..how the fuck did we not take the 60M from city for Sanchez??????

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Raises the question: At what price did we sell Fabregas ?

Thierry Bergkamp

I always thought it was too little, even back then when Mcguires or Lukakus weren’t going for 80 million. Didn’t he go for 35m


Won’t Alex Oxlade-Chamberlains move to Liverpool eventually total £40m?

Good luck to Alex all the same.


So little that the chairman of Barcelona went on record saying they’d got a bargain.


But we could have received bigger fees than this had we not allowed the contracts of both RVP and Sanchez run down. We had to let the first go for peanuts and the second go in a daft exchange deal for Mkhitaryan, a player than we didn’t really want, rather than see him leave on a free! Bad management by the previous administration.

Arsenala Vista Baby

Arsenal just cannot say no to £40m in current situation. Especially after the purchase of Pepe. It has been a while since Arsenal manage to reap the benefit of investing in youngsters. Iwobi is a good, committed Arsenal man. The arrival of Pepe must play important part in his decision. It is sad that it needs to come to this. But Iwobi deserve to play regularly in any team if not Arsenal, I wish him all the best, thanks for the memories and glad that it is Everton that you choose, not a direct rival. Hopefully he will grow and… Read more »


He just never really asserted himself as a “senior” player, in his behaviour or his performances. That interview he gave saying how satisfied he was with his goal haul last season because “he’s not really a forward anyway” showed that he just didn’t have the killer mentality you need to compete at the very top of the top. Maybe the burden of responsibility he is sure to have at Everton will be a good thing for him. He’ll have to step up and be a leader in that side, maybe some of Richarlisons fuck you attitude will rub off on… Read more »


Totally agree – he seemed to be satisfied with coasting – 6 words that make a lie of his ‘not really a forward’ comment:
Marc overmars
Robert Pires
Freddie Ljunberg

None of them fellas were ‘really forwards’ either Alex…

Dan nichols

i think the late wenger era was understanding and nurturing but forgot that the central reason an employer should be these things was to improve performances on the pitch. I think that allowed a guy who had 35 chances not to look a young player but never quite managed it to comfort himself with this erroneous theory. He could have become our main behind the attack player with walcott, ox moved on, ozil and ramsey having disrupted seasons and mcki being, well, a bit shit. He couldnt nail it down and we have replaced him. i want willock, nelson, smith… Read more »

Dave Cee

This, this, this! Perfectly put Dan. There far too much comfort around the Arsenal squad in the latter Wenger days. Players were given chance after chance, he even said he wanted Walcott to stay whilst hardly ever playing him. I hope Raul and Unai have brought back that keen sense of competitiveness that has been missing. For the young players the message must be “push on or push off”. I really hope they have the mentality and ability to make it with us.
Anyway, good luck Alex


Was sad to see him go but if he gets regular game time in his best position (wherever that is), it will have worked out got all parties. We get a substantial fee and space for Willock and Nelson, Everton get a player with bags of potential, and hopefully Alex gets his shot. Wish him the best.


I imagine that was financial pressure to go someway to balancing the books and his was the best option for a quick, big, fee in the Summer (UK) window. We’ve bought a lot of players and we needed incoming cash. It’s the best deal all round I think.


* there was


I get that but it was so sudden that I don’t think we planned it. I don’t think it was something we were really considering at all until Everton got bounced by Palace for Zaha and came to us. The offer was then too good to turn down for player and club.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Even without good statistics, The Jeff is seen in France as a great talent. He was even said to have been a greater talent than Pépé at Angers. Why did Unai sell without even knowing him?


Who is seeing him that way in France and who’s been saying that in Angers?
Speculation would never die.

Pepe is the finished article, Jeff is someone with potential and they are different players altogether.
Arsenal said that Jeff was indeed the special talent (real deal) just days before those Emirates cup games but he was injured most of the time and it’s time we moved on as well.
If he turns out good, then good luck to him.

We are a club who penny-pinched trying to sign Cristiano Ronaldo – that’s a worthwhile regret but not for Jeff, please.


Makes my blood boil when I think we lost Iwobi, and probably Ramsey too, because of the fat contracts handed to Ozil and Mkhitaryan. I much rather we had kept the former two. Maybe the club has learnt, next time someone demands superstar wages, unless they’re Messi, show them the door, even if it means short-term pain.


It’s worse than that. We let Sanchez go in the exchange deal that brought Mkhitaryan to The Emirates (a player that we didn’t really want) only to prevent Sanchez going on a free. Had we not allowed Sanchez’s contract to run down earlier on we could have got at least £60 million for him (at the time) or kept him and he was good for us (albeit not for Utd). The fiasco over Sanchez then panicked the previous management team into giving Ozil his wage-structure busting contract to ensure he didn’t on leave on a free as that would have… Read more »


100 times up.


Lol we lost iwobi because our rich owner doesn’t want to spend any money he doesn’t need to so the club needs to balance the books.

We lost Ramsey according to articles because our manager didn’t think he was worth it.

I agree though we should have handled the business better long before the contracts went into the last season.


Blogs why aren’t you reporting it’s £40 mill , the transfer fee is £27.5 mill with add ons that can rise to £34 mill


*are you


Yes, the lower total is the breakdown that the BBC were reporting a few days ago. We won’t know for sure until/unless either club confirms it officially, which I haven’t seen to date. Either way, it’s still a pretty good deal I think.


On the face of it, we got a pretty good deal here. That said, I’m sure that we all wish him luck with the Toffees – but not when he play against us, of course.


Was a good deal for a player yet to actually produce much on the field. people are forgetting that he is 23, not 17. Where he is with decision making and shooting is way below where a $40mil winger/midfielder should be. Still talking about potential is a bit of a worry about a player that has been around some very good players for years and they expect him to learn at a ‘lesser’ team?


While I Would smile if he gets his decisioning fixed and gears up at Everton, this was a very logical and fairly positive transfer for us, great if it works out to be a step forward for Iwobi as well. But he Didnt really capitilize on his pitch time last year, While I respect him as a long time gooner, we needed to look for a different solution, while it remains to see if we will be better off I am very pleased and full of praise to the squad decisions made


Best of luck to Iwobi- I always liked him as a player and as a personality in the squad. Feels like he was never given a sustained role in his natural position as we weren’t using a formation that allowed it (a diamond shape in the midfield would have gotten more from him, I think), but because of his youth and desire to play, he was shunted off to the wing to fill a gap in our squad. What he says about the ‘youngster’ tag is largely true, as even retired players still have that tag attached to their careers… Read more »


He was a very decent squad option considering the current crop of players, but what you gonna do, it’s a move that had to be made given we currently don’t have that many sellable players.

Naija Gunner

Good luck on your new adventure son


Good money for him but for me a mistake to let him go so soon. Nelson will rightly have a go on the left and will now step up as one of the first choices but I would have kept Iwobi at least one more season (with Pepe yet to bed in) and fro strength in depth technically. He would have also balanced out Pepe. Sure Auba can also play left but one injury to either striker and our options dwindle very quickly. Martinelli also looks useful out wide but he’s s till very young and consistency will be an… Read more »


34 mil negates any argument of a ‘step back’ Santa. And the fact is he never learned that defence is a vital part of the modern game – Martinelli’s already put in in more tackles in pre-season that Alex the whole of last season!
Nice lad – but never really showed the willing and the hunger – we got a great deal for him at that price.


https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/49319480 Obviously there are other soft factors but interesting to see Iwobi is valued much higher. Pepe is a good buy bc we signal intent and it sends a signal that may help us in retention (Laca, Auba). Otherwise his price is hot and it does not follow that a high price means he is any necssarily that much better than say cheaper options like Fekir or Ziyech (albeit whether those clubs were willing to structure installments comes into question) Tierney I think is a decent price for a good player but one we may not have needed so early… Read more »

Andy Mack

We’ve seen Iwobi have outstanding games and also have almost completely anonymous games. If Alex gains consistency (in a good way) then we’ll regret letting him go, but if he doesn’t become more consistent then we got a good deal from the Toffees.