Alex Iwobi will make his 150th English Premier League on Saturday, March 13, if Carlo Ancelotti picks him for the Everton team to face Burnley at Goodison Park on Saturday.
The 24-year-old Super Eagles regular has recently become embroiled in a media spat with Ancelotti concerning his preferred playing position.
Iwobi, a cousin of Nigeria legend, Jay-Jay Okocha, burst into the scene as an 18-year-old in the 2015/16 season for Arsenal who he represented for four seasons before he was sold to Everton in the summer of 2019 for about $36 million.
In his six seasons in the EPL, Iwobi has scored 13 goals and created 21 assists, even though many believe his goals-return is below par for a player of his skill and shot taking, which may have led to his tiff with his current boss, Ancelotti.
Iwobi ranks fourth in Nigerians with the most appearances in the EPL and second for assists, while Yakubu Aiyegbeni holds the record for most EPL goals at 95.
Iwobi against Ancelotti
Everton manager, Carlo Ancelotti replied to an Instagram post by Iwobi in the Guardian which read, “Always an honour to get a call up to my national team. Hopefully, I get to play in my preferred position.” [This post is currently unavailable on his feed]
The experienced and much-traveled manager was not too pleased with Iwobi’s snide implication.
“I read the post,” Ancelotti told the Guardian. “I want to speak to him, of course. I want to know his preferred position because usually, I want to put a player on the pitch where they are comfortable to play, not where they are uncomfortable to play.
“If he has an idea of where he prefers to play, I have to know, I want to know. I would be delighted to know his preferred position and I’ll put him in his preferred position for sure, no doubt.
“I am going to tell him: ‘Tell me, I am your manager, tell me where you want to play’. When I thought to put Pirlo as a holding midfielder, I asked him: ‘Do you like to play there or not?’. ‘Yes’, he said to me, ‘I’d love to play there’ and so I put him there. If he wants to play number 10 or number nine, I’ll put him at number 10 or number nine, no problem. I can adapt the system.”
Iwobi has made 24 EPL appearances this season, but he has lasted the full 90 minutes on just five occasions while he has been substituted in or out in 20 matches. Everton are sixth on the table with 46 points from 27 matches.
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