Everton manager Frank Lampard has challenged Alex Iwobi to add goalscoring to his game after describing the Nigerian as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.
Lampard also charged the former Arsenal player to provide more game-winning assists like he did for Dwight McNeil’s winner at Southampton last weekend.
Iwobi is yet to score for the Toffees so far this term but has provided four assists in nine games across all competitions with three of the assists coming in his last four Premier League games.
Overall, the Nigerian has scored 22 times and bagged 27 assists in 255 appearances in his senior career with 15 of the goals coming in 149 appearances for Arsenal and seven in 106 games for Everton.
In the Premier League he has scored 15 goals and bagged 23 assists in 191 games.
Iwobi has impressed for Everton whom he joined in August 2019 after being moved into the middle to cover an injury crisis at the close of pre-season.
He has since retained his spot in the side despite the recovery of teammates and arrival of three central midfielders in the summer transfer window.
His performances in the first eight games of this league campaign have been the latest development in the revival of his Everton career, which began with his battling displays as a wing-back during the club’s fight against relegation.
But it was the glimpses of quality he offered on the rare occasions he was used as a number eight that most impressed Lampard, who arrived at Everton anticipating Iwobi would be most effective as a wide player.
Speaking ahead of the club’s home game with Manchester United, Lampard described Iwobi as currently “one of the top midfielders” in the league.
“I think from the outside… I was very aware of him coming through because my staff had been at the Chelsea academy for years and Alex was at the Arsenal academy.
We spoke about every player and their feeling having gone up against Alex as a kid was that he was an immensely talented player so there would be something there for us.
“At the time I came in I probably presumed it would probably be as a winger and [he would] do a job for us there and I then just wanted to stay open and see what he showed us in training.
There has been a huge development and I am asked a lot about my input in it and so much is down to Alex himself.
“It is clear to say that only players and players themselves can make the strides Alex has made, but not many make the strides he has made in the right way.
My job is to support him, give him confidence, put him in the right structure, in the right team and the rest is down to him. Whatever view when I came in is not important but now I have a huge respect for him and love working with him.”
The Everton gaffer reveals the secret to the Nigerian’s new found form is the player himself.