After a mixed 12 months under Carlo Ancelotti, the Nigerian playmaker will be looking to strengthen himself in the new year.
Iwobi, overall, had a disappointing 2020, but it ended encouragingly with the events of the past month and a bit.
Criticized for his final product, the former Arsenal playmaker has come in leaps and bounds to energize Carlo Ancelotti’s side in recent weeks to play a solid role in James Rodriguez’s absence.
At the time, Everton have climbed into the top four prospects in a tight season laden with insane Premier League results, giving hope for an ambitious Toffees in 2021.
🚨 𝐏𝐨𝐝𝐜𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐀𝐥𝐞𝐫𝐭 🎧🎙️
Do Alex Iwobi and Wilfried Zaha have points to prove in the Premier League this season? 🤔👇
Iwobi: The Story of 2020
the Nigeria The playmaker has had a slow start to the year, mostly playing catch-up after Ancelotti arrived in December 2019, due to an unfortunate layoff following the experienced manager’s arrival in Merseyside.
While Iwobi returned before the lockdown, there was a feeling the ex-Gunner wasn’t quite right then and after the sport returned in June and he largely embodied a Everton side that passed away in the final match weeks of 2019/20.
A goal contribution throughout a tumultuous first campaign has led to long-standing doubts about the Arsenal academy graduate, who many believe can produce much more in the final third.
Rodriguez’s flagship arrival for the new season, as well as the acquisitions of Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure from Napoli and Watford gave the Merseyside club a boost in quality respectively, but the result of those arrivals threatened Iwobi’s place.
Even though missing the squad in the first few weeks of the campaign was not a good omen, the quality of West Africa shone, making him a useful member of the squad.
It wasn’t by design, however, nor did it please observers injured at Everton full-backs, seeing the Nigerian deployed at the back and even right-back against. Burnley.
Although I don’t think it will be a permanent change for him like it was for Mikel. Back injuries and Ancelotti not trusting young heads led to this interim solution. I guess time will tell. https://t.co/dPhdyGRqAM
– Seye Omidiora (@theReal_SeyE) December 11, 2020
It was far from ideal for the attacking midfielder, but he showed great versatility and momentum in possession to suggest that Ancelotti could trust him in this position if needed at the to come up.
Rodriguez, Richarlison and Seamus Coleman (the club’s main right-back) are expected to regain their fitness in the new year, which means Iwobi’s series of starts could be cut short when the main starters return.
However, the consistency and tenacity shown over the last few weeks of 2020 – which have garnered praise from his manager – suggests the Super Eagle will not be on the outskirts on that side in 2021.
Iwobi: Any transfer rumors?
While the year ended three months ago, the Nigerian star may have been one of the few actors to be considered for a sale to raise money to improve the camp.
Proving he can be relied upon and taken positions unknown means Iwobi is not going anywhere … unless something really drastic happens in January or the second half of Season 20/21.
Iwobi: a great ambition for 2021
Considering the top-quality attacking XI that Ancelotti has at his disposal, it’s safe to say getting into Everton’s top three won’t be easy for the 24-year-old when everyone is in good shape.
Either way, a role in midfielder three could offer Iwobi some consistent first-team action in a position that really fits his skills, at least in theory.
In the middle of the park, his ball-carrying and bonding skills are put forward, while the pressure to get raw numbers in goals and assists will also be lessened.
Not playing regularly or playing regularly enough to cement a place at Arsenal and now Everton have hampered the Nigerian’s development making the midfielder a smart option to do so.
If the Toffees make Europe in the end, it’s even better!
Iwobi: a great fear for 2021
Lack of match action which suggests the Nigerian could remain a small player in Ancelotti’s squad.
Not making the top six or winning a trophy can even lead to a sale if Everton need to balance the books after heavy investments in the summer of 2019.