Everton midfielder Alex Iwobi has shared how he struggled when he first joined the Toffees, revealing that there was ‘a lot of abuse’.
The 26-year-old moved to Everton from Arsenal back in 2019 in a £35m deal, but struggled to settle at Goodison Park.
Iwobi has been Everton’s most creative player so far this season, but the Nigerian international did not quickly adapt to life at Goodison Park, taking a few seasons to nail down a consistent run of form.
Speaking on Behind the Game on the Premier League’s YouTube channel, Iwobi is asked how he got through the amount of negativity surrounding his high-profile transfer to Everton.
The midfielder states: “My first years obviously weren’t nice. I was just seeing a lot of abuse. Coming to training knowing you’re not going to play. It was a bit hard because I moved up north by myself. My friends would come every now and then.”
Iwobi continues, revealing that he spent most of his spare time home alone. He states: “I was in my apartment. But sometimes I’d be by myself just thinking (Iwobi makes exasperated sound). Then go into training the next day and thinking (Iwobi makes exasperated sound).
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Sometimes just to clear my head, I’d go for a run and it’d be so cold. Up north is so cold. I’d just think I need to do something. Nothing is working, I need to do something.”
Iwobi has found a place at Everton, but has lost some form in recent games
Indeed, Alex Iwobi took a number of years to settle into life at Everton, but found a run of form in attacking midfield under Frank Lampard last season that clearly improved his confidence.
Despite swapping central midfield for the right-wing under Sean Dyche, Iwobi remains one of Everton’s key players this season, providing seven assists in 31 Premier League games, though the Nigerian has managed just one goal.