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Former Arsenal star Alex Iwobi opens up on two-year Everton nightmare after Gunners exit

Former Arsenal star Alex Iwobi opens up on two-year Everton nightmare after Gunners exit

He initially struggled after leaving Arsenal.

Alex Iwobi has opened up on the difficulties he first faced after leaving Arsenal for Everton.

Former Arsenal winger Iwobi, 26, left his boyhood club to sign for Everton in a £34m move in 2019.

The Nigeria international initially struggled to adapt to life in Liverpool and managed only one league goal in his debut season at Goodison Park.

The following season was as equally disappointing, with Iwobi again managing only one league goal in the course of the campaign.

He was linked with a move away from the Toffees in the summer of 2021 but chose to remain with the club.

It proved to be a smart decision, with Iwobi's form significantly improving in the 2021-22 campaign – initially under Rafael Benitez and later under Frank Lampard, who converted the Nigerian into a midfielder.

Iwobi played a key role in helping Everton avoid the drop last season and has firmly established himself as one the team's most important players in the current campaign.

Iwobi: Nothing was working

Iwobi has now opened up on his departure from Arsenal and admits he found things difficult after leaving the club that he first signed for at the age of 9.

"My first two years obviously weren't nice. I received a lot of abuse, you're coming into training and you know you're not going to play," he told the Premier League's Behind The Game.

"It was a bit hard because I moved up north by myself and my family and friends who only come now and again."

When asked by Arsenal legend Ian Wright if he was going out during that period, Iwobi added: "No I was just in my apartment.

"Sometimes when I was by myself, I was just thinking 'Ugh…' and then going into training I was thinking the same.

"Sometimes to clear my head I would go out for a run and it was cold. Up north is so cold! I was just thinking 'I need to do something, nothing is working.'

"But luckily for me, I would always go away with my national team and do okay."

Iwobi has scored one goal and provided eight assists in 34 games in all competitions this season for Everton and will hope to add to that tally when Sean Dyche's side face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Everton are currently 17th, outside the relegation places on goal difference alone, and Iwobi must again play a key role if the Toffees are to beat the drop.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy & Premier League

Topics: Arsenal, Everton, Football, Premier League, Alex Iwobi