BY EDMOND ODOK, ABUJA – English Premiership average performers, Everton on Thursday confirmed the deadline day transfer arrival of Alex Iwobi from Arsenal for a fee of £40 million (about $49 million).
In a deal that was only announced more than four hours after the transfer deadline of 1700 local time (1600 GMT), the Toffees got the Nigerian international on a five-year contract, making him the seventh signing of a busy summer for the Merseysiders
The former Arsenal wideman now joins Italian striker, Moise Kean at Goodison Park, in a new-look front line for the Toffees. Kean joined from Serie A champions Juventus for 27.5 million euros (about $31 million or £25 million)
Aside the 23-year-old Super Eagles’ forward and Kean, other Everton’s signings for the new season include goalkeeper Jonas Lössl, right-back Djibril Sidibe, midfielders Andre Gomes, Fabian Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin.
Despite their busy transfer window, Manager Marco Silva said their signing of Iwobi is one they had coveted all summer.
“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 their run to the semi-finals of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt, as well as 2018 FIFA World Cup fiesta hosted by Russia.
In a statement on Arsenal’s website, Head coach, Unai Emery wished the player well, saying he was an “example to young players”.
According to the Spanish Manager; “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.” – With agency reports