Everton newcomer, Alex Iwobi has revealed that he left Arsenal to break free from the “youngster tag” he has carried since bursting onto the scene, reports squawka.com.
The 23-year-old completed a deadline day switch from north London to Merseyside, with the Toffees splashing out £28 million for the Nigerian’s services.
Having progressed through the club’s academy Iwobi quickly established himself as a mainstay in Arsenal’s first-team plans.
However, he started just 22 times in the Premier League last season.
The Nigerian confessed earlier in the summer that he would likely leave Arsenal if they signed Wilfried Zaha.
Unai Emery failed to prise the Ivorian away from Crystal Palace but he did sign Nicolas Pepe for £72 million. As such, Iwobi completed a move to Everton, citing a desire to shake his “youngster tag” as motivation for the move.
His move to Goodison Park brought an end to a 15-year association with the Gunners, but it was a move he felt compelled to make, as he holds a fervent desire to shift the “youngster tag” that has loomed over his shoulders since emerging into the spotlight.
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Speaking to the club’s official website, he said: “I spoke to the manager and Marcel [Brands] and they almost lured me in.
“The offer was too attractive for me to turn down.
“The manager was telling me, ‘There is a spot for you, we will take care of you’. Basically, all the things you want to hear as a player.
“I always had that youngster tag at Arsenal, so hopefully with this move, I am able to make a name for myself in the Premier League and create history with Everton.”
Iwobi was just one of a number of star-studded names to arrive in the transfer window, adding to a squad already replete with elite-level talent courtesy of their exploits in the market from the previous summer’s activity.
In total, Marco Silva bolstered his squad with seven signings, including the likes of Moise Kean and Djibril Sidibe, which has Iwobi champing at the bit for the new season.
He added: “It is exciting times for Everton. I was able to look at the transfers and players they have brought in – some great talent.
“It is not just me. There were quality players here before [the summer] and they are still here.
“The manager has worked with Richarlison for a long while and made a name for him.
“Hopefully he can do the same for not just me but Moise Kean and a few others who came in, too.”