Football

Iwobi: Offensive youngster tag forced me out of Arsenal

Alex Iwobi has admitted he defected to Everton from Arsenal to shake off the impression he is still a fledgling talent.

The 23-year-old competed at the African Cup of Nations with Nigeria this summer before moving to Goodison on a five-year deal worth £35million.

He’d been with Arsenal for 15 years after joining the club’s academy as an eight-year-old.

Now he is desperate to establish himself as a mature Premier League talent under the guidance of Marco Silva.

“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.”

Fellow forward Richarlison scored 13 Premier League goals last season. Iwobi is aiming for the same kind of improvement as the Brazilian. The £36million arrival of another striker, Moise Kean, from Juventus means Everton have a formidable front line for the new campaign.

Iwobi told Everton TV: “The manager has worked with Richarlison for a long while and made a name for him.

“Hopefully he can do the same for, not just me, but Moise Kean and a few others that came as well.

“It is exciting times for Everton. I was able to look at the transfers and players they have brought in, there’s some great talent.”

Iwobi featured regularly at Arsenal last season under Gunners boss Unai Emery, appearing in all but three Premier League games.

He also scored in the club’s Europa League final defeat to Chelsea in what was his last appearance for the club.

He found himself squeezed out during the summer, however, following following the arrival of Nicolas Pepe from Lille for a staggering, club record £72m.

In moving to Goodison Iwobi believes he can help his new side on last season’s eighth-place finish and enhance his own reputation.

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