Football News

Everton confirm signing of Alex Iwobi from Arsenal

By Chris Smith

Published: 21:21, 8 August 2019

Everton have completed the signing of Arsenal winger Alex Iwobi on a five-year contract.

Both clubs had been linked with a move for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha throughout the summer transfer window.

Everton sign Iwobi: Five key things to know…

  • Iwobi joined Arsenal as a youngster in 2004.
  • He went on to make 149 appearances for the club, scoring 15 times.
  • Arsenal had initially looked like keeping hold of the Nigeria international.
  • But the Gunners accepted a £28m bid late on deadline day.
  • Iwobi has signed a five-year deal at Goodison Park.

However, in the end, Arsenal opted to sign Nicolas Pepe from Lille for a club-record £72m fee, while Everton were unwilling to match Palace’s asking price for Zaha.

And so, the Toffees turned to other options late on deadline day, announcing a £28m deal for Nigeria international Iwobi  – who had been at Arsenal since 2004 – following the close of the transfer window, with the price expected to go over the £30m mark after add-ons.

Arsenal had initially looked to keep hold of Iwobi, who was seen as an important part of Unai Emery’s plans next season and a possible candidate to play in the No.10 role which he fills for Nigeria.

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“His energy is important, so is his quality,” the Spaniard said last season. “He can improve. I want him to be nearer the box, having chances to score more. He can. He is very young. He has the ambition to do more.”

But Everton announced the deal just after 9 pm, four hours after the closure of the English transfer window.

Everton boss Marco Silva was delighted to secure one of his “main targets” of the summer window to add to his existing attacking talent.

He told Everton’s official website: “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.

“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.”

Everton begin their 2019/20 Premier League campaign away to Crystal Palace on Saturday.