Alex Iwobi has been ruled out for “two or three weeks” by Carlo Ancelotti. The 23-year-old picked up a hamstring injury in Everton’s 0-0 draw with Arsenal (December 21) and missed their 1-0 win over Burnley on Boxing Day. Ancelotti isn’t expecting to have Iwobi back in action until next year now.
He told Evertonfc: “Alex Iwobi is not going to play in the next games. He is going to rest for two or three weeks, then start (training) with the team.” It means the Nigerian international is likely to miss Everton’s meeting with Newcastle United (December 28) and Manchester City (January 1, 2020).
How will Everton fare against Newcastle United?
Whether he’s back for the Blues’ clash with Brighton & Hove Albion (January 11) remains to be seen, but Ancelotti has Gylfi Sigurdsson and Bernard available to offset Iwobi’s loss. The new Everton manager named a 3-4-1-2 against Burnley, pushing the fullbacks into wing-back roles, so Iwobi would likely play centrally in this system.
Even if Ancelotti opted for conventional wingers, he has the returning Theo Walcott to call upon after the 30-year-old recovered from a calf injury on Thursday. Bernard and Richarlison are also available. Iwobi has made 20 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring and creating three goals.
The 23-year-old hasn’t set the place alight since joining from Arsenal, but could he turn things around under Ancelotti?