Darren Bent has suggested that Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha could replace Alex Iwobi if he signs for Everton this summer.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Premier League and England striker has ripped into the current Toffees star and insists the Ivory Coast international would be a huge upgrade.

As revealed by Football Insider earlier this month, the Toffees are readying a bid for the 27-year-old sensation a year after they tried to prise him away from the Eagles for £70million.

Everton ended up signing Iwobi, 24, from Arsenal on deadline day last summer but has endured a difficult first season on Merseyside with just two goals and one assist to his name.

Bent admits he is not a fan of the Nigeria international and believes Zaha would be a significant step up despite his own indifferent form last season.

Bent told Football Insider: “I think he’s definitely a signing that they need. Whether he takes them to the next level I’m not quite sure yet. His stats last season would suggest probably not, they weren’t great.

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“I mean four assists and five goals for someone of his quality isn’t great and it doesn’t really inspire you with confidence where you start thinking: ‘We’ve got him, we’ve got the guy that’s going to drag this team to the verge of Champions League football.’

“He’s definitely a signing that they need because they need people with quality.

“For me, Alex Iwobi doesn’t do it for me, his end product’s not good enough, he doesn’t score enough goals, doesn’t create enough goals so he’s not really doing anything.

“For me, if Zaha can get himself down there and play on the left-hand side with Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, Gomes, I really like what they’re doing down there. If I’m Everton, I go for that one 100 per cent.” 

In other Everton news, Ancelotti has been tipped to offload at least one first-team midfielder after a big development.