The footballing world was left in disbelief when Everton parted ways with Alex Iwobi, with former striker Ian Wright expressing his astonishment at the transfer, writes the Everton.News. Speaking to Premier League Productions, Wright questioned Everton’s judgment in selling one of their “top” players to a club like Fulham and suggested that the Toffees had “fallen off” as a result of the decision.
Alex Iwobi’s journey at Everton began four years ago when he made a high-profile move from Arsenal in a deal worth up to £34 million. Over the course of his tenure at Goodison Park, Iwobi made 140 appearances and arguably established himself as one of the club’s standout performers last season. He contributed two goals and seven assists in the Premier League, showcasing his creative prowess.
Initially, Sean Dyche’s side seemed determined to retain the services of the Nigerian international. However, on transfer deadline day, they eventually decided to part ways with Iwobi for a fee of approximately £22 million. Reports indicated that Iwobi had refused to sign a new contract, making him available on a free transfer at the end of the campaign.
Ian Wright voiced his strong disapproval of Everton’s decision, drawing a parallel to Wayne Rooney’s move to Manchester United in 2004. Wright remarked, “Everton have sold, for me, arguably, their best creative player in the last couple of seasons in Iwobi. And they sold him to Fulham. This is the level they have dropped to.”
While acknowledging Fulham’s stature, Wright expressed his concerns about the direction in which Everton appeared to be heading. He compared Iwobi’s departure to high-profile transfers of players to big clubs, emphasizing that Everton’s decision to sell key assets to a club like Fulham marked a significant decline.
Wright further directed his criticism at Farhad Moshiri, the owner of Everton, suggesting that Moshiri may not have had the necessary expertise for the level of ownership required in modern football. Despite Iwobi’s statistics not reflecting his importance to the team, Wright emphasized the player’s significant role in Everton’s midfield.
The decision to sell Alex Iwobi for £22 million, although met with skepticism, may have had a silver lining for Everton. With Iwobi’s contract set to expire next summer, the club managed to recoup a substantial portion of his initial price tag. Nonetheless, the loss of a player of his caliber will undoubtedly be felt on the pitch, and Everton’s decision to part ways with him has raised eyebrows throughout the footballing community.