Alex Iwobi has vowed to continue displaying the relentless work-ethic that underpinned his excellent displays in Everton’s Premier League run-in, as the Nigerian explained why his attitude matches the culture of Evertonians and the city of Liverpool.
The 25-year-old emerged as a key figure during the final weeks of the 2021/22 campaign, raising his performance levels to fresh heights under extreme pressure as the Blues fought for Premier League survival.
Iwobi’s versatility proved invaluable for boss Frank Lampard, with the former Arsenal man impressing when deployed as a central midfielder, wide forward and wing-back.
Iwobi was the only Everton player to start the Toffees’ final 12 matches of the season, with his conditioning and application highlighted by the fact he played every minute of those games.
Iwobi says he hopes to lead by example with his infectious intensity and enthusiasm, while outlining how Lampard has helped him channel his energy.
“Evertonians appreciate hard work and the physical side,” Iwobi told evertonfc.com.
“If I have that energy, hopefully it influences my teammates. It is important that I understand the culture of the city, the passion for football and for Everton.
“I love playing and like to express myself through football, so when I get the opportunity, I just try my best.
“The manager spoke to me after the Leicester home game [a 1-1 draw on 20 April] about having a bit more tactical awareness.
“He said, ‘It is nice to have the energy to run and chase and get back, but maybe, sometimes, preserve it, chill out, so you’re not burned out’.
“Other than that, he says maintain the work-ethic because it really helps the crowd engage with the team. The manager knows I have the ability to press and quickly get back into shape.”
Iwobi is now enjoying a well-earned break after following up his Everton campaign by playing four internationals in the space of 16 days for Nigeria, completing 90 minutes in each contest.
With the start of the 2022/23 term just over six weeks away, however, Iwobi says he is intent on sustaining his end-of-season momentum.
“My first couple of years here weren’t the greatest but this [the final weeks of the season] was my best period at Everton,” he added.
“I want to use it as a platform to kick on and make more positive memories with this club.
“I am youngish and have a lot of time ahead. I want to win something with Everton – and do my best for the Club.”