Everton defeated Manchester United by a goal to nil at Goodison Park and Alex Iwobi’s performance was a big reason for that crucial result.

Alex Iwobi seems to have earned the trust of Frank Lampard
Alex Iwobi seems to have earned the trust of Frank Lampard

The Nigerian midfielder played the full 90 minutes in this one making it the third consecutive game in which he has started and finished a game for Everton.

That little stat is indicative of the trust Everton manager, Frank Lampard has in him and that is because of his recent display of heart and desire.

Iwobi showed high levels of commitment to the cause and was rather uncharacteristically hardworking in that narrow win against Manchester United.

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Iwobi over the years has tended to come across as a luxury player, soft and only useful with the ball at his feet but he was the opposite of that today.

He was playing in the number 10 role just behind Dominic Calvert-Lewin but Iwobi covered a lot of ground and often drifted out wide in either direction to help his team out defensively and offensively.

Iwobi had one clearance, made two interceptions and seven recoveries, the type of stats that are normally not attributed to him.

Iwobi was impressive for Everton against Manchester United
Iwobi was impressive for Everton against Manchester United

These stats show heart and desire which was missing the last time we saw the Super Eagles, perhaps not a coincidence that Iwobi was unavailable for that game.

If Iwobi had played in the double-header against Ghana with the same level of passion and desire that he now displays for Everton perhaps the Super Eagles would have had a better chance of winning.

Alex Iwobi’s last appearance for the Super Eagles may have led many to believe his usefulness to the team had run out especially since he got sent off in that AFCON round of 16 defat to Tunisia.

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His rebrand as a hardworking player may well have given him a second chance to reintroduce himself to Nigerians.

Of course, his offensive output still needs to improve as it is his primary responsibility to create and score goals but this right here is a good start.

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The Super Eagles have been crying out for a player to match Victor Osimhen’s high level of passion, desire and application and maybe Iwobi may just be that guy.

If Iwobi can keep up his current level of performance for Everton and then replicate that for Nigeria, there may be a clear path back into the Super Eagles’ team for him.

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