Noel Whelan has ripped into Alex Iwobi and claimed that the Everton attacker has failed to meet expectations since arriving from Arsenal.
The former Leeds United striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, warned the 24-year-old that he needs to produce “something special” if he wants to retain his place in the starting eleven beyond Richarlison’s return.
Iwobi started Everton’s 2-0 loss at Southampton today in the absence of the suspended Richarlison, his first Premier League start of the campaign.
However, the Nigeria international failed to make a meaningful impact on the game and was replaced by Bernard at half-time.
Whelan suggested that the attacking midfielder, who cost an initial £28million last year, has been a shadow of the player who rose to prominence at Arsenal.
“I think we expected a lot more from him, from what we saw at Arsenal, with the big money that they paid for him,” he told Football Insider.
“He’s not hit the heights that we expected. A lot of Everton fans that watch him are frustrated by him.
“This is an opportunity now for him to go out there and show why they spent that money, show Ancelotti that he deserves a place in that starting line up but he’s got big boots to fill.
“If he doesn’t come up with something special, he’ll find his bum back on the bench because he needs to score goals, he needs to show assists and he needs to show that intelligence on the ball.
“I don’t think we’ve had all that since he signed for Everton and I think that’s the frustration with Everton fans, he was an exciting signing – young, fresh, pacy, tricks – but we’ve not seen that, he’s not produced that for Everton.”