Despite spending a decent amount of money on signings in recent years, the situation surrounding Everton’s recruitment has not improved. Many of their new signings have failed to make their mark, and injuries to their important starting XI players have often derailed their season, a recurring pattern. Such has been the case with Alex Iwobi ever since he joined the club.

Since joining Everton in the summer of 2019, Iwobi has been inconsistent for the better part of his stay at Goodison Park. During his first season at Everton, Iwobi was limited to 25 appearances which in part was due to injuries. In addition, his place in the starting XI was also not defined under manager Marco Silva. Iwobi was deployed on the left and the centre of the midfield in Silva’s 4-2-3-1 formation. However, his form showed no improvements.

Things did start to improve slowly for Iwobi under Carlo Ancelotti, and for a short duration in the second half of the 2020-21 season, it looked like he was finally showing his worth. Under Ancelotti, he was deployed on left or right side of the midfield in the 4-4-2 system. After an impressive run of games, Iwobi’s form slumped again as he was often guilty of giving the ball away and keeping it longer than necessary. He finished the season with 30 appearances in the Premier League, with just one goal and two assists.

The arrival of Rafa Benitez at Goodison Park has not changed the situation for Everton or Iwobi. After a promising start to the season, Everton are now winless in seven successive league games. Iwobi has often been overlooked in the favour of summer signing Demarai Gray, and more recently, Anthony Gordon. Most of his appearances this season have been as a substitute, although he has been afforded considerable game time.

Let’s analyze Iwobi’s stats from the previous season and the current season to gauge if he needs to be replaced.

Iwobi’s 20-21 Stats

At one point during the last season, Iwobi was Premier League’s most prolific dribbler. But that all changed as the season came to a close. Iwobi often held on to the ball longer than required and lost possession. Last season he averaged upward of five dribbles per match with an impressive success rate. But his end product during the later part of the season declined.

Iwobi’s 21-22 Stats 

Perhaps the biggest improvement this season in comparison to last has been Iwobi’s tendency to go for goal. He is averaging more than a shot this season which in part explains the seeming improvement in his attacking stats. Although, the situation behind his end product remains the same. In some games, he looks impressive trying to get in threatening areas, while in others, he goes missing. In the recent game against Brentford, Iwobi, along with forward Rondon, failed to coordinate and threaten the opposition’s defense.

Iwobi’s 20-21 Stats 

Last season, Iwobi was deployed on the right side of midfield by Ancelotti, from where he would look to try and cut inside or play a pass in between the lines. His shot map indicates the areas from where he took his shots at the goal. Iwobi took a total of fourteen shots last season. Although, he found the back of the net just once.

Iwobi’s 21-22 Stats  

In the current season, Iwobi has been deployed in a similar role, albeit on the opposite side of the midfield on the left. He has already taken ten shots, indicating that he has been going for goals more often than last season. Iwobi’s shot accuracy has largely remained the same this season as well.

With Everton fans are becoming increasingly frustrated with Iwobi’s inconsistent performances, his underwhelming goal contribution, and Benitez’s indication of wanting reinforcements in central midfield and wide areas, it remains to be seen whether Iwobi will remain at Everton.