By Noel Whelan

19th Sep, 2022 | 3:53pm

Iwobi backed to agree big-money Everton deal after latest - expert

Noel Whelan has insisted Alex Iwobi is “really enjoying” his new midfield role and backed him to sign a bumper new deal at Everton.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 26-year-old has improved markedly after “a lot of negativity” surrounding his performances upon his Toffees arrival.

According to the Liverpool Echo (18 September), Everton have opened contract talks with Iwobi – who has become an “integral part” of Frank Lampard’s side.

The report claims the Goodison Park club have also kick-started discussions with Anthony Gordon and Jordan Pickford about extending their time at the club.

Iwobi has started all but one of Everton’s seven league fixtures this term and provided the assist for Neal Maupay to score in the 1-0 defeat of West Ham on Sunday (18 September).

The Nigeria international’s current deal is set to expire in June 2024.

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When asked if Iwobi deserves a new deal, Whelan told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “I think he is.

“Two years ago, there was a lot of negativity regarding his performances. He wasn’t providing enough quality, wasn’t working hard enough.

“I think this is a player who has had a tough time but has come out the other end – and he’s now putting in some really decent performances.

“He’s consistently involved in the right areas and influencing games at the right time.

“He’s fully deserving of that contract extension, and he seems to be really enjoying this new role.

“He’s working hard under Lampard – and that seems to be the main thing that he’s asking of his players.”

In other news, medical insider issues verdict on Andros Townsend returning early amid Everton latest.