Carlo Ancelotti can turn Alex Iwobi into a star of his Everton side by making a daring team call and starting Anthony Gordon against Arsenal this Sunday.
The blow kept the Nigerian out of action for six league games before returning to action away to Watford at the start of the month, though would play no part in our 3-1 win over Crystal Palace prior to the winter break.
While Ancelotti could look to reintroduce Iwobi to the fold as we travel to the winger’s former home this weekend, he may have reservations about doing so given Silva rarely saw the best from the 40-time international following his £34million summer arrival.
Iwobi has just one Premier League goal and no assists to his name in Royal Blue thus far, while finding the back of the net once and assisting one goal in the early rounds of the Carabao Cup.
Ancelotti, however, can turn the tide on the 23-year-old’s slack output at the Emirates Stadium this Sunday by moving Iwobi into a more central role, rather than continuing to utilise the Arsenal product as a wide option.
While his output hinders the argument, Iwobi has been one of our most creative players this season with an average 1.4 key balls per 90 league minutes, plus 1.6 successful dribbles, 1.5 shots and 1.6 successful tackles, per WhoScored.
Should Ancelotti start Iwobi at Arsenal?
Yes, on the left-wing
Yes, in the centre
No, leave him on the bench
Ancelotti has alternatives to use on the wings, even should Theo Walcott not be passed fit to play, with the ex-England ace’s condition as yet unconfirmed after being forced off during the first half of our win over Palace last time out.
The boss could comfortably name Bernard in the starting line-up on one side of the field following his goal against the Eagles, but rather than drag Richarlison back out wide, Ancelotti should also name Gordon in the opening XI.
While Gordon may have never started a senior fixture with his 52 minutes of first-team football so far exclusively coming from the bench, reports by Football Insider claim that Ancelotti has been ‘dazzled’ by the 18-year-old’s technical ability in training at Finch Farm.
Ancelotti is also said to envisage the academy product playing regular first-team football in the future and is excited to see what he can produce in the senior fold after excelling in the Under 23s.
In 27 U23s outings, Gordon has scored eight times and assisted four goals, and is considered by club chiefs to have outgrown the junior grades – and starting him at Arsenal will not only give the talented prospect a chance to show that, but help Iwobi make his £34m transfer a success.