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Alex Iwobi has stated that playing behind the striker is his preferred position on the pitch after putting in a magnificent display against West Ham United.
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Iwobi was playing in this role in a Premier League fixture for the first time since joining Everton, having played on the left side during the early stages of his career on Merseyside.
It will give Marco Silva great pleasure to see him play such a helping hand in registering the club’s first league win since early September from this position.
The Nigerian told Everton’s website: “The manager told me try to get the team going forward as quickly as possible but also keep the ball and create chances and I felt I would be able to do that,” added Iwobi.
“That position is where I have grown up playing and where I feel most comfortable.
“I will play wherever I am told to but I really enjoyed it today.”
It’s like night and day
It is no surprise that as soon as Iwobi plays down the middle, he inspires Everton to win. As he alluded to, it is his preferred position and one in which he grew up playing.
In his years at Arsenal, the 23-year-old was pushed to the wings to make room for the likes of Mesut Ozil and Santi Carzola.
This clearly suffocated his ability to prove his worth down the middle, and his outing for Everton suggests that Silva would be wise to give him an extended run in his preferred position.
As demonstrated in games recorded by merkato, Iwobi even thrived at centre-forward during his youth days. In the season of 2014-15 for Arsenal’s U23s, the former Gunners man scored 10 goals, with seven of them coming at the tip of the attack.
The main dilemma at this stage concerns Gyfli Sigurdsson, a player who was signed for a whopping £ 45m and, when on form, is clearly one of the club’s most devastating attacking players; the strike that secured the win over West Ham attested to that.
Silva may need to find a way to integrate them both, but Iwobi, who is earning £50k-per-week, per Spotrac, has built a strong case to start in the number ten role.
As a result, the Portuguese manager may have to leave Sigurdsson out of the starting XI or accommodate him out wide.