Nigerian International Alex Iwobi Opens Up on How Former Everton Manager Told Him to Leave

Nigerian International Alex Iwobi Opens Up on How Former Everton Manager Told Him to Leave

Babajide Orevba
  • Alex Iwobi left Arsenal in 2019 to join Everton, and he has played under several managers at Goodison Park
  • The Nigerian international is currently enjoying a special time at the club since Frank Lampard took over
  • However, Iwobi has disclosed that the former manager of the club, Rafa Benitez once told him to leave

Super Eagles forward Alex Iwobi has opened up on how Spanish manager Rafael Benitez told him to leave Goodison Park, saying he was not good enough.

The Nigerian international joined the Toffees in the summer of 2019 from Arsenal, and many had considered him a flop at his new club.

Iwobi stated that he battled the negativity surrounding him during his first two seasons at the club.

Alex Iwobi, Super Eagles, Everton, Rafa Benitez
Alex Iwobi says Rafa Benitez once advised him to leave English Premier League club Everton. Photo: Tony McArdle.
Source: Getty Images

Marco Silva was in charge of the club when the Nigerian arrived, but the tactician only lasted until December before he was axed.

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Other managers who have been in charge of the club are Duncan Ferguson (as a caretaker boss), Carlo Ancelotti, Rafa Benitez and Frank Lampard.

Iwobi admitted that he struggled under the managers aside from Frank Lampard, who has helped him pick up his form again.

The 26-year-old disclosed that Benitez once advised him to leave, saying he does not have guaranteed playing time. However, Iwobi replied he would rather fight for his place in the side and take his chances when they came.

He told Liverpool Echo:

“It felt like everyone wanted me to go. They said, ‘If you want to play football, you would be better off on loan’."

Iwobi said it felt like he was not part of the team's plans and management felt he should try to prove himself elsewhere, but he believed he had something to give and wanted to demonstrate his skills.

“I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but I would play football with my friends, especially when I wasn’t in the team. Little games, maybe twice a week, just to enjoy it. I never lost my love for football, even though I saw all the negativity.”

After taking on a new role in the centre-midfield, Iwobi has regained top form for Lampard's team. He has scored one goal and made five assists so far this season.

Jermain Defoe praises Alex Iwobi

Sports Brief earlier reported that former Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe has applauded Nigerian international Alex Iwobi for his remarkable turnaround at Premier League club Everton.

Iwobi has produced excellent performances in the English top flight this season, despite having trouble settling at the club.

The Nigerian international has notched one goal and made five assists so far this season, with only Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne providing more assists than the former Gunner during this campaign.