Three Reasons Why It Hurts To See Iwobi Leave Arsenal for Everton

By Daily Sports on August 13, 2019

Views: 1,003

As an Arsenal fan, I joined many fans of the club in excitement as a late splurge into the transfer market brought a number of mouth-watering signings into the club. In a rather un-Arsenal way, the North London club who were supposedly in possession of about a miserly £45m to spend on recruitment of players for the 2019-20 season ended up more than doubling that in a spending spree that addresses to the satisfaction of many their areas of immediate need.

In came record signing winger Nicolas Pepe from Lille for a club record £72 million, Kieran Tierney the left back from Celtic for around £25m and William Saliba from French side Saint Etienne for £25m. He has been sent back to the club on loan for a season.

As well, there were the small money arrivals of striker Gabriel Martinelli and defender David Luiz from rivals Chelsea.

The giddiness of the Arsenal fandom over these signings was clearly visible online and I was certainly caught in it. The club had shut the mocking mouths of those who peddled the “Arsenal can’t spend” talk and the Gunners were back to reckoning once again as a spending force.

However, on transfer deadline day, I was left saddened by the emanating news that Arsenal were going to let Nigerian midfielder and winger Alex Iwobi go to Everton. It came as a shock to me given the fine season that Iwobi had last season for the Gunners and also the fantastic African Nations Cup displays from the Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha nephew.

It became quickly apparent that economic considerations were behind the Arsenal’s decision to let Iwobi go.

After having committed a lot of money to acquire new players, Arsenal needed to recoup some of the money by making sales. Who else was on the fringes of a regular spot in the club, who was sellable for a significant amount of money, than Iwobi? So the decision was made to flog the fine-faced Nigerian to coach Marco Silva’s side.

On the face of it, it makes some sense that Iwobi could be going to a club where he could be playing more regularly than at a ‘Big 6’ side like the Gunners. The 23-year-old surely has the skills and experience to command a spot in the Everton line up on a consistent basis. This could serve the Nigerian national team well to have an influential player playing lots of games for his club.

Still it cannot be hidden that Arsenal selling Iwobi rankles me for the three main reasons below.

1. It looks like a demotion

Leaving a big club for a smaller team can be simply interpreted as a demotion for a young promising player. If Iwobi is not valued at Arsenal to the point where they would prefer to trade him to a lesser team, then it smells of demoting the young lad. That hurts me for him.

2. We won’t have the chance of watching a Nigerian player at a top club

Arsenal are a club still with a lot of followership around the world. Since the departure of Victor Moses from Chelsea following the arrival of Chelsea’s erstwhile manager Maurizio Sarri, Iwobi had been the only Nigerian player playing for a top club of note.

Most Nigerians care only to watch matches involving the top sides and only catch a little glance at highlights of matches involving the lower sides.

Now Iwobi would be playing for a club who most people would not care to see live except when they’re playing against one of the top sides of world football.

Therefore, Iwobi may just be largely lost in the disinterest of watching the likes of Everton live.

3. It hurts having Iwobi depart Arsenal because of the arrival of a fellow African

My Nigerian pride was dealt a big blow as I considered that Arsenal were willing to sell Iwobi largely because of the arrival of another African forward player Nicolas Pepe of Cote d’Ivoire.

Iwobi cannot be significantly a less better player than Pepe and he is much better than some of the lads Arsenal have retained upfront. But the Gunners have taken their decision, but as far the race for future African best player awards is concerned, it is a minus to have a sparkling Nigerian player shunted aside to a lesser club in order to accommodate another upcoming African star.

Hopefully, Iwobi can show great performances at Everton that would warrant his joining another top club in future and can be a player made for the big clubs as his talent suggests. He certainly possesses the skillset to be a true great and there’s still age on his side as he continues to improve as a player.

But for now, I feel pained by his leaving Arsenal for a lesser followed club.

Source Daily Sports

Posted August 13, 2019


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