Arsenal icon Nwankwo Kanu has admitted his surprise in seeing his former side agree to sell Alex Iwobi to Everton in the summer, and suggested the Gunners made a mistake in doing so, as told to Goal.
Iwobi left the Gunners in August for a potential £34million (BBC) after 15-years at the North London outfit, for whom he graduated through the ranks to make 148 senior appearances and represent his country Nigeria 36 times.
The 23-year-old left-forward felt he had to take the chance to move to make a name for himself at Everton, whose interest was simply too good to refuse.
Since moving to Merseyside, Iwobi has featured in three fixtures and scored twice across all competitions (TransferMarkt), but Kanu feels Arsenal and his compatriot made a mistake in completing the deal.
“I would say they made a mistake, 100 per cent,” Kanu said. “Why they let him go, I don’t know. He’s a boy who, in and out, is Arsenal. He always wanted to do his best for the club. He loves the club, but not only that he can play football.
“It was a surprise to everybody because it happened right at the end of the window. If I knew earlier, I could have said to him not to go and that it was better for him to stay. I would have said that there was no need for him to go because at Arsenal he will still play. He’s that good and he needs to know that.”
While Kanu – who won two Premier League trophies with Arsenal in the early-2000s – feels Iwobi and their former side made a mistake in agreeing a deal with Everton, the move is not looking like an error on the Toffees side of the table.
In his first Premier League start for the Blues, Iwobi offered a relentless threat when in possession to earn an eight out of ten rating from the Liverpool Echo.
Marco Silva also gained one of Arsenal’s most influential players from last season in the potential £34m deal, as Iwobi was credited with 17 key passes during the 2018/19 Premier League term by WhoScored – the third-most of any Gunners player, and only four shy of top-placed Sead Kolasinac.
Iwobi also led Arsenal for successful dribbles (18 from 29) and ranked third for shots taken (13), which he has continued into his Everton career, with one key pass, one shot, one successful dribble and four completed tackles recorded against Wolves.
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