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Can Iwobi Answer Everton’s Attacking Issues

Can Iwobi Answer Everton’s Attacking Issues

Alex Iwobi was snapped up by Everton in a big-money transfer deadline day move, but can the Nigerian help deliver much-needed goals boost to the Toffees? Toffees’ boss Marco Silva agreed to pay Arsenal a reported initial £28million, rising to £34m with potential add-ons to take the 23-year-old forward to Goodison Park earlier this month. Iwobi joined keeper Jonas Lossl, defender Djibril Sidibe, midfielders Andre Gomes, Fabian Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin, and striker Moise Kean as the new faces with the Merseysiders over the summer.

However, with the side scoring 54 goals in 2018-19, Silva was keen to bring in some extra attacking prowess to try and match the top side’s record as sixth-placed Manchester United scored 11 more goals in a disappointing season by their own high own standards.

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Silva said: “Alex fits exactly the profile of player I want. 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.” There is no doubt that Iwobi has the qualities to potentially create chances for his team-mates but his goals record to date is nothing to write home about with 15 in 149 appearances during his time at Arsenal.

Despite that record, Nigeria’s assistant coach Imama Amapakabo is in no doubt that Iwobi can step up in front of goal and he firmly believes that Silva has done his homework on the player before spending a huge chunk of his club’s transfer budget on him. He said: “He didn’t just sell himself to Everton, they came for him knowing the reason why they came for him and the role he’s going to play for them.”

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Iwobi has yet to feature for Everton in their opening two games – which have yielded four points but just one goal – so it will be interesting to see if he can make an immediate impact as and when Silva releases his shackles. Meanwhile, Bernardo, who scored the only goal of the game in Saturday’s 1-0 home win against Watford, has urged to be more “selfish” in front of goal this season.

The Brazilian managed just five shots on goal in 34 appearances during last season and Silva now wants him to build on his strike at the weekend. He added: “I want him to be more hungry to score. “In some moments – it is maybe not the right word – I want him to be more selfish. “He did that on Saturday – it was a really important moment for us and for Bernard.”

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