Why and how Alex Iwobi completed a deadline day move from Arsenal to Everton
Iwobi signed a five-year deal with Everton who reportedly paid £40m for the Nigeria international.
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The reported fee makes him the most expensive Nigerian player ever.
Although it may have seemed that the move came out of the blue, Pulse Sports have been told that Iwobi had known of the interest from Everton and a couple of other Premier League clubs for at least a month.
According to the Pulse Sports source, Iwobi was told of the interests from a couple of Premier League clubs when he was with the Super Eagles of Nigeria at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.
“Wolves and Everton were interested in him but it was only Everton that came with an offer,” the source said.
Everton first placed a bid of £30m with a day to go in the transfer window but that was turned down by Arsenal.
It was understood that Unai Emery was initially against the idea of selling the 23-year-old but when Everton returned with an improved offer, the Arsenal board, in need to recoup some cash, gave in.
From an Arsenal perspective, selling Iwobi was purely a business decision done to recoup some cash after the club-record signing of winger Nicolas Pepe. With no interest for Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil who Arsenal were more willing to sell, it had to be Iwobi.
After Arsenal and Everton reached an agreement, it was left for Iwobi to agree personal terms with the Toffees and that negotiation went quickly as he was keen to jump on the chance for a fresh start.
According to the source, Iwobi had become unhappy with the constant bashing from Arsenal fans and felt a move to another club would give him the chance for a fresh start.
“Iwobi believes he was an easy target for Arsenal fans, he didn’t understand where the fallout happened,” a source told Pulse Sports.
“He is extremely happy with the move to Everton. He didn’t ask to leave, but when the offer came and the club believed it was good business, Iwobi felt it was a good opportunity for a fresh start.”
Iwobi had not returned to Arsenal for pre-season when the transfer happened as he was given an extended break after the AFCON 2019.
The transfer was sealed in the last minutes of the deadline day and Everton had to quickly submit a deal sheet to the Premier League to buy themselves two hours to complete the deal beyond the 5 pm deadline on Thursday.
The forward underwent part of his medicals in London and Arsenal helped out by sending his medical records to help speed up the process.
The transfer was completed on Monday, August 13 when Iwobi finally got to Everton’s Finch Farm training ground to go through some tests and photo-shoot in his new club jerseys.