Arsenal had on Thursday wished Nigerian international Alex Iwobi ‘all the best’ in Everton reeling records that he was an example of a ‘young player’ from his academy that quickly rose through the ranks but had to be sold out on deadline day.
Arsenal head coach Unai Emery was quoted as saying Iwobi was an “example to young players” in a statement on Arsenal’s website after Everton confirmed signing the Nigerian international.
“Alex has made a big contribution here at Arsenal. He worked hard in the academy where he was an example to many young players and has been an important part of our squad. We wish Alex every success in the future,” the Spanish manager said.
But for Everton manager Marco Silva, signing Iwobi was one he had coveted all summer, stating that the 23-year-old will help compete against the strongest teams in the league in the new season.
“Alex was one of our main targets for this window and I believe he is a fantastic signing for Everton. He is a direct and skilful winger and attacking midfielder who always works very hard for his team,” Silva told the club’s official website.
“He is still young but already with a lot of top-level experience – 100 Premier League matches, more in Europe and many international games.
“It was important for me to have one more quality option for our attacking positions to add to what we have with Richarlison, Bernard and Theo Walcott.
“Alex fits exactly the profile of player I want in my model. He is hungry to join Everton and take the next step in his career, to help us compete with the strongest teams in the league and reach his potential at our club.”
Iwobi made 149 appearances at Arsenal, with the first of them coming in 2015 at just 19 after he had graduated from the academy in north London.
He has also made 36 appearances for Nigeria, including this summer, in their run to the semi-finals of the African Cup of Nations, as well as in last summer’s World Cup.