(AGENDAWATCHDOG) – Everton’s £35million winger Alex Iwobi acknowledges it is time he lived up to the hype he received as a youngster breaking through at Arsenal.
Iwobi celebrated his 24th birthday in lockdown and is keen to show he is entering his peak years as Everton return to action in Sunday’s Merseyside derby against champions-elect Liverpool.
The Nigerian international, nephew of Bolton legend Jay-Jay Okocha, signed for Everton last summer but suffered a stop-start season due to hamstring problems and has not scored since September.
It is a far cry from being an Arsenal regular at 20 when Arsene Wenger predicted Iwobi would become a ‘top-class’ player. His speed and power also saw him represent England at junior level before switching international allegiance.
‘I’m no longer that young prospect, that young talent,’ he says. ‘I have to show why there was so much hype about me. The only way you can do that is in games. I feel I’m at that time in my career when I need to start doing that. I need to up my stats a bit more, improve a bit more.
‘That will come. I’m looking forward to restarting the season so I can prove myself.’