Alex Iwobi has admitted that his game has improved under new Everton manager Benitez, who took over the club in July.
Iwobi joined the Premier League club back in 2019 from Arsenal, but has failed to truly cement himself with a role or position in the club’s starting XI. That seems to be a thing of the past now with the new coach playing him more since the start of the new season.
Under the Spaniard, Iwobi has scored one goal and provided one assist in seven appearances across all competitions for Everton this season.
“I can see the improvement under the new manager because he’s vastly experienced and has worked with different players at major clubs,” Iwobi told BBC Sport Africa.
“He came in and told me the part of my game that needs improvement, and so far I can see the progress and impact. When you work under someone who’s managed top players in his career, you have to listen because the gaffer has already seen things you are only just learning.”
He came through the ranks at the Gunners before being given a shot at senior football. He ended up scoring 15 goals in 149 senior games for the London club, but the following chapter of his career at Everton, under first Marco Silva and then Carlos Ancelotti, has not gone as hoped.
The former England youth international said he has had to “step up” his game this season as the intensity at the club has risen to a higher level than he’s experienced before in his career.
“This is a different level with the new manager. Personally you have to be honest with yourself and admit what part of your game must change to adapt,” he continued.
“I know the importance of having a consistent run at club level, so I’ve had to step up my game to compete here.”
Since making his senior debut in 2015, the attacking midfielder has gone on to make 160 Premier League appearances along with 26 games in European competitions.
With his prime years ahead of him, the 25-year-old has vowed to dig deeper as he looks to bring out his true potential.
“You are right that at 25 I can no longer make excuses for myself. Luckily, I am now working with someone who wants to bring the best out of the players at the club.
“You can see the difference and his touch across the squad. Personally I’ve just got to keep taking those chances, keep making those runs and hopefully I’ll start putting them away on a regular basis.”
Although he represented England at youth level, Iwobi switched international allegiance to Nigeria where he has scored nine goals in 48 appearances for the three-time African champions.
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By FARPost Reporter