Former England international Darren Bent has called into question Alex Iwobi’s abilities following the Nigerian’s Deadline Day move to Everton, as told to Football Insider.
Marco Silva targeted Iwobi late in the summer as he sought to improve our wings with his pursuit of Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha returning no gains, but Bent feels the Nigerian we signed for a reported £34million is not an upgrade on Richarlison.
One area of the 36-cap Super Eagles star’s game that former Aston Villa and Sunderland attacker Bent particularly sees an issue with is his decision making, having frequently watched the 23-year-old in action at the Emirates Stadium.
“I’m an Arsenal fan, and I’ve never been Iwobi’s biggest fan,” Bent said.
“My thing with people has always been quality on the ball. Whether it was his final cross or his shot on goal, it was always under-hit or there was never really any quality there.
“He’d do the hard stuff, go past someone, and you’d want him to make the right decision, but he never seemed to get it right. I wouldn’t [say] he’s better than Richarlison, because he gives you goals, he’s got a bit more quality.”
Iwobi made the same number of appearances as Richarlison during the Premier League last season, but started just 22 of his 35 outings, whereas the Brazilian we signed from Watford made three of his appearances from the bench.
In those outings, it was Iwobi who came out on top in terms of minutes per key pass, with the Nigerian recording a key ball every 49.4 minutes for the Gunners, whereas Richarlison laid on a key pass to a Blues teammate every 127.6 and returned fewer assists with one compared to six.
Iwobi even came out on top statistically for his shooting accuracy, with 40% of his 35 efforts finding the target (31% blocked), while Richarlison fashioned 34% of his 83 strikes toward the goal (31% blocked), albeit finding the back of the net more frequently with 13 to Iwobi’s three.