This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Arsenal should not have sold Alex Iwobi to Everton, former striker Nwankwo Kanu has told Goal.com.
Nigeria international Iwobi joined the Toffees on transfer deadline day for a fee of £35m.
During his time with the Gunners, he made 149 appearances and scored 15 goals.
But his compatriot Kanu believes the north London outfit made a mistake in allowing the forward to leave.
He said: “I would say they made a mistake, 100 per cent.
“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.
“What he brings week in, week out, the fans need to appreciate that.”
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On paper, his stats from his time at the Emirates Stadium do not make for good reading. He scored a goal once in almost every 10 games, and never bagged more than six in one season. That form is not good enough for a side trying to qualify for the Champions League.
However, as he seems to have been around for so long, it is easy to forget he is just 23-years-old. His best years lie ahead of him, and Everton may be able to tap into his potential.
It would not be the first time the Gunners have moved a winger on too early. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, for example, has done well at Liverpool since joining the Reds in 2017, making 49 appearances so far despite a series of injuries hampering his progress. Back to full fitness, he has featured in three of the European Champions’ four Premier League fixtures this term.
An even more embarrassing transfer in hindsight is that of Serge Gnabry. He was sold to Werder Bremen for just £4.5m in 2016 as a 21-year-old after just 18 matches in an Arsenal shirt. Since then, he has 34 goals and 20 assists in 98 matches for Die Werderaner, TSG Hoffenheim and Bayern Munich. He even won the Bundesliga with the latter, and his club form has led to him scoring nine goals in his first 10 games for Germany.
Iwobi himself has already made a positive start to life at Goodison Park. netting twice in his first three appearances. That is, therefore, a third of his highest-ever season total. Unai Emery will be hoping that his departure will not go down as another Arsenal mistake.