Former England international Darren Bent has questioned Alex Iwobi’s future at Everton after struggling on the back of his £34million transfer from Arsenal.
Iwobi was one of Marco Silva’s final signings as Toffees boss, with the Portuguese tactician and Director of Football Marcel Brands securing a Deadline Day deal for Iwobi to move north to Goodison Park on a five-year contract.
Silva, nor his successor Carlo Ancelotti, have been able to get the best out of Iwobi, however, with the Nigerian only starting 53% of Everton’s Premier League fixtures to date while making five further appearances from the bench for a total of 23.
The former England youth international was even hauled off at the break during the club’s last two top-flight encounters, with Ancelotti introducing Djibril Sidibe at half-time against Southampton and Anthony Gordon against Tottenham following lacklustre displays.
Bent feels that has been a firm fixture of Iwobi’s Toffees career thus far, and would seriously question whether or not the £50,000-per-week winger will still be at Goodison Park when the 2020/21 campaign starts should the Gunners product not improve in the final fixtures on offer.
“For all his endeavour – he does work really hard and he tries really hard – there’s no end product, there’s no quality there,” Bent told Football Insider.
“He works really hard, you’ve got to give that to him, he puts a shift in but when it comes to that real bit of quality where it’s the final delivery, scoring a goal or the final pass, he hasn’t quite got that.
“When he signed from Arsenal, for that amount of money I was like: ‘Woah, that’s a lot of money for him.’ For him, he’s not made an impact one bit and it wouldn’t surprise me if they look to offload him. Since he’s signed, he’s done next to nothing.
“When you make signings, you do so because you believe they can take the club forward and I don’t believe he’s done anything to do that.”
Should Ancelotti look to sell Iwobi this summer?
Bent is right to question Iwobi’s future at Goodison Park given the overall output the winger has produced since leaving Arsenal last summer, though talk of a one-year career on Merseyside for the 24-year-old may be too soon.
While Iwobi has only created two big chances to score in the Premier League this season – the team’s ninth-most, per Sofa Score data – Ancelotti has often given him chances to improve his output.
Iwobi has also been responsible for the squad’s third-most successful dribbles (31) and has played the fourth-most accurate passes in the final third (187), despite missing six games over the festive period as a result of a hamstring injury.
Given time in Ancelotti’s system, the end-product may emerge with Iwobi, it will simply be a question of whether or not the boss is willing to give him that time.