Everton defeated Preston North End this weekend in a pre-season friendly match with Nigerian playmaker Alex Iwobi missing in action; it ended 2:0.
There are speculations as to why he missed this encounter with some observers suggesting that it might be due to a slight injury. But Everton did not make any official announcement on his exclusion.
However in the club's previous friendly match, Iwobi was deemed to have underperformed as Everton clawed their way back from 3:0 down to end the match 3:3.
In appraising him for that encounter, liverpoolecho.co.uk acknowledged that the Nigerian showed quality on occasions but reported that his heavy touches and sloppy passes continue to be a source of worry.
Some observers believe that he was hurled off in that encounter and wasn't expected to feature in the next match (which is what happened).
A number of prominent followers of the English Premier League have often expressed disappointment of Iwobi's output.
"For me, Alex Iwobi doesn’t do it; his end product’s not good enough, he doesn’t score enough goals, doesn’t create enough goals so he’s not really doing anything," expressed former England striker Darren Bent recently (according to Football365.com).
And therein lies the problem: Iwobi's assists and goals stats have not been good enough for a £27 million attacking midfielder.
Last season, the 24 year old scored 2 goals and provided 1 assist in 29 matches across all competitions. No further indications need be sought as to why he is being regarded as an Everton flop.
However, he has next season to move 360 degrees towards more palatable set of statistics.
The skills are there as well as the attitude and work ethics. He just needs to dig deep and be more composed in the way he goes about his game. Then the goals and assists will come.
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