Former Premier League midfielder Jamie O’Hara believes Arsenal ‘must have been laughing’ when Everton paid an initial £28 million for Nigeria international Alex Iwobi, speaking to talkSPORT (24 January, 11.30pm).
In Iwobi’s defence, he is one of the few players who could genuinely look himself in the mirror and say that he did all he could to keep Frank Lampard in a job. If Everton’s end of season awards were to take place some six months ahead of schedule, for whatever reason, the former Gunners youngster would sweep the proverbial board.
Lampard’s decision to install Iwobi as a buzzing, box-to-box central midfielder was one of his greatest triumphs at Goodison Park; a man who spent most his time out wide under Rafa Benitez and Carlo Ancelotti playing the best football of his Everton career in a new role.
Nonetheless, the initial £28 million fee Everton paid Arsenal on the final day of the 2019 summer transfer window is still another example of this now cash-strapped club playing well over the odds for a talented but relatively-limited footballer.
Everton spent nearly £30 million signing Alex Iwobi from Arsenal
“Iwobi; Arsenal must have been laughing!” says O’Hara, the ex-Portsmouth, Tottenham and Wolves man.
Iwobi has played all but 20 minutes of Everton’s 2022/23 Premier League campaign; scoring once and setting up seven more in all competitions. All Nigeria Soccer believe talks over a new, five-year deal got underway as far back as November. As yet, however, confirmation over Iwobi’s future has not been forthcoming.
“He’s one of the top midfielders in the Premier League at the moment,” the now-departed Lampard told the Liverpool Echo last year.
“My job is to support him, give him confidence, put him in the right structure, in the right team. And the rest is down to him. I have a huge respect for him and love working with him.”