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Sports News of Thursday, 22 September 2022

Source: punchng.com

Can Iwobi reproduce Everton form for Eagles?

Alex Iwobi Alex Iwobi

Everton midfielder Alex Iwobi has all eyes on him during the international break following his superb form for the Toffees, when the Super Eagles battle the Foxes at the Oran Olympic Stadium on September 27.

The Nigerian midfielder has put astounding performances for the Toffees amid their slow start to the 2022/23 season in the English Premier League.

The 26-year-old produced another superb display as the Merseyside club edged out West Ham United 1-0 in a Premier League contest on Sunday.

Iwobi was handed his seventh straight start by manager Frank Lampard and after a tale of missed chances, it was his pass that released Neal Maupay to score past Lukasz Fabianski and hand his side their first win of the season.

“We have been playing really well,” Iwobi told SkySports after the game, as he collected the Player of The Match award.

“The performances were good; it was just about getting the result. It’s good to get a win going into the international break.

“I didn’t get off to a great start. I always have the mindset to prove people wrong. The manager allows me to express myself.”

As the player has said, going into the international break with a win was definitely needed and now, Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro will be looking to get the same energy and determination Iwobi displays consistently at Goodison Park this season in Oran.

For Iwobi to truly shine for the Eagles though, he would need the freedom to roam like he has at Everton, which would be provided by his midfield partners.

When he’s in possession, it’s clear that he’s the club’s most creative player. Take Sunday’s match against West Ham United as an example, even if it wasn’t the most exhilarating of encounters the Premier League has ever seen.

Being paired with Amadou Onana and Idrissa Gueye in the middle of the pitch allowed Iwobi much more opportunity to roam up the pitch and get himself into dangerous areas around the final third. He made 11 progressive passes in that match at Goodison Park, single handedly breaking West Ham’s team average per 90 minutes of 2.35.

So far in this campaign, Iwobi has featured in every minute of Everton’s seven fixtures in the top-flight, providing three assists – the most at the club.

And, of course, he’s also assisted three of Everton’s last four goals in all competitions, if just to push the point home that little bit more. Not only does he play with confidence, but he celebrates and speaks in interviews in the same manner too.

Iwobi is a man playing with confidence now and many times it has been proven that confidence was always half the battle with the Nigeria international. Now that it seems out of the way, it remains to see what a confident Iwobi can do for the Eagles against a Riyah Mahrez-led side that defeated them in the 2019 African Cup of Nations semi-finals.