'Wow...Massive Surprise' - Exclusive: Whelan in awe of Everton player in new role
Noel Whelan has admitted he was blown away by Alex Iwobi playing as a wing-back for Everton against Fulham and Leeds United.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insisted it was a “massive surprise” to see the natural winger perform so well in his makeshift role.
The 24-year-old, who filled in as a right wing-back against Fulham, was switched to the left-hand side against Leeds as Ancelotti continued with his use of a 3-4-3 formation.
🔵 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠 𝗡𝗘𝗪𝗦 🔵
— Everton (@Everton) November 28, 2020
Iwobi has come under fire for his performances as a winger in the Everton side and has been accused of being too wasteful in the final third.
However, Whelan believes the Nigeria international has shown all the talent needed to make a success of himself in a new position.
Asked if a switch to his new wing-back role could kick start his Everton career, Whelan told Football Insider: “It didn’t do any harm but finally, finally, we saw a player that was bringing to the party everything that he was bought.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“It’s taken a long time, but I thought he was excellent playing that wing-back role – loads of energy, loads of positive runs into the box, creating chances, looking dangerous but also doing that defensive job as well.
“He’s got energy, he can definitely do that role but that was a massive surprise to me because I was kind of thinking: ‘Wow, he’s in the side and he’s playing full-back.'”
Ancelotti started with no recognised full-backs on Saturday evening as Iwobi and Tom Davies filled in as makeshift wing-backs.
The Toffees have lost Lucas Digne for a couple of months due to an ankle injury, while Seamus Coleman is also out of action.
In other Everton news, a Spurs star has been tipped to join the Toffees in January.