Selling Iwobi – The right move made at the wrong time?

Really, was it a wise move? by Eddie Hoyte

Hi gunners, the ride is over, we were all surprised with the way our summer panned out, the players we brought in, the players we sold, and many of us still want to see two to three more players sold.

Out of the players sold, I must admit the surprising one was the sale of Iwobi. Iwobi divides opinions amongst us as much as Ozil does, Iwobi is still younger, stronger, and trickier than both Ozil and Mhiki. Iwobi was the proper thing we had next to a winger. That being said, was selling him this window a wise move? I think it was a right move made at the wrong time.

I am not Iwobi’s biggest supporter, neither do I see him as useless to the team. The fans who wanted him out will give you their reasons, many of us got frustrated with him mainly because of his output as a forward player.

Number of games: 149
Assist: 23
Goals: 15

I must admit it’s frustrating to watch him play at times, it’s frustrating to watch him burst up front with the ball, get past a player only for him to take a weak shot at goal. I also support those who think he’s not fit to be a starter for Arsenal. On the other hand, what best could he be for us? A squad player, the perfect squad player, he has shown last season he could always improve by performances under Emery in just a season. It’s obvious Emery likes him, Emery rates him, and so many times Emery has spoken about what he brings to this team and what he needs to improve on.

We have no left winger, we struggled in so many games last season, the right wing was dead last season, something that was obvious after we lost Bellerin. Most of our attacks were orchestrated through the middle and through the left wing. Don’t be fooled about his stats last season. Iwobi would have had better stats if only PEA and Lacazette converted some of the chances and final passes he made into the box, once again don’t be fooled, most all of the assists made by Kolasinac was from Iwobi. It’s that obvious what Iwobi does bring to the left flank. Right now, we’ve got our player for the right wing, I think potentially we just crippled the left wing.

Hold on to your high horses first, folks.

I know some of you would say we have Martinelli, Saka and Nelson, but you’ll only be fooling yourselves if you expect one of those boys to suddenly turn Mbappe and deliver week in week out. Once again, yes Iwobi wasn’t at his best, no doubt about that. I’d like to point out how high us Arsenal fans raise our expectations, some of you don’t need to be reminded, it’s like it’s encoded in our DNA to always expect the best from our team, even when in situations we knew we were more weaker, lots of us raised the bar and expected nothing less from the squad. These expectations we hold every season, is the main reason why suddenly believing Martinelli and Nelson would step up to the podium and wow us is a suicide mission.

Arsenal fans would tear into these kids the moments they fail. You have AMN who’s a very good midfielder, who I followed while he was in the academy, you have him playing Right back for seasons, sometimes he’s been played as a left back, and the moment and every time he failed in those positions, you have fans slaughtering him and calling him a poor footballer, these are mostly fans who don’t know what he could actually bring to the midfield. Hell, right now these fans keep on pointing out how AMN spells trouble for this season and why didn’t we bring in a Right back. You see my point? What happens the moment Nelson and Martinelli fails? What happens when we get weak on the left wings? Who do we turn to? Ozil? Mhiki? Anyone of you actually believe these two players will do better jobs on the wings than Iwobi?

Ozil and Mhiki should be sold, but their wages put teams off. Iwobi doesn’t earn up to half of what both players earn individually, but you can’t deny he didn’t contribute more to this team last season than both of these players (Sorry Sue, Phil, Dan Kit) but that’s the truth. I don’t expect anything from these two players anymore actually, if they play well, good, if they don’t, good, but at least I know they don’t bring much to the table.

I love the ruthlessness of the new regime to be sincere and I think it’s going the right way, but I also think Iwobi was sold at the wrong time, we could’ve done with that extra support he brings on the pitch this season, rotate him alongside Martinelli and when we bring in an established left winger we could’ve sold him. Also put into consideration Iwobi just like Wilshere and Jenkinson, he’s a full-blooded gunner, knows what it means to be one of us right from the scratch. I got to admit I was a bit disappointed to see him go. If you follow his social media accounts, you’d know he’s not happy with leaving Arsenal now. He’s refused to post anything, Even Everton are yet to unveil him, only this noon did he changed his DP to that of him wearing the Nigerian jersey instead of Everton’s.

It’s fair to say, he left for a reasonable fee, it’s fair to say teams wanted him. I read reports Everton wasn’t the only team interested in him, but Everton were quick enough to make sure they get him. He’s going to a team now with less pressure on him, I think he’ll find his feet over there and be a good partner to Moise Kean, oh boy! I got to admit I’m interested in seeing Kean’s growth in the EPL.

So well that’s it for now, I don’t think selling him this summer was the right thing to do, we had more issues, we had players we don’t need any more staying and we sold the one who contributes to the team, even if it’s just a little contribution. I told myself that maybe the reason he was sold was to bring in a better player next summer. Maybe this new regime intends to build the whole team anew and maybe we should be expecting a left winger next summer, please don’t you dare say Fraser. Zaha? Soares? Maybe, who knows? Time will tell.

Good luck to Iwobi over there, I wish him all the best in his career, he’s a good lad and I hope he doesn’t let this move ruin his head and mess with his judgement. Once a gunner, always a gunner.

Eddie Hoyte


  1. It’s wise if we see it from the financial standpoint. Arsenal needed to recoup some of the transfer money and luckily Everton offered to break our sales record

    Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Kolasinac, Nelson, Martinelli, Aubameyang and Lacazette didn’t play well as an LW, but I have a big hope in Saka. As a left footed attacker, Saka should be able to work better on the left side and reach the byline more frequently

    As long as Saka has the guts to risk his legs against the opposition’s RB, I believe he could give us a lot of free kicks. Sessegnon could not fulfill his potential as an LW at Fulham, but I hope Saka could be more productive than him

  2. You blame Auba and Laca not converting?

    How many soft and grandmotherly shots did Iwobi float to the goalkeeper? I liked Iwobi as a sub, but FFS how many times did he create his own chance and softly roll one to goalie?

    Almost 3 years and he still struggled to shoot with any power.

    I feel Arsenal should have loaned him out 2 years ago to a Championship side. Let him start 30 games a season, find his form, and grow into a position.

    Then we could have seen what he could become, and offered with regular game time.

    Simply put Arsenal can’t wait any longer for Iwobi to develop. He’s had his chances, and now those opportunities should be given to Saka, Nelson, and Martinelli.

    All the best Iwobi, grow and develop at Everton young man. Inability to move on Mhki the slug ended your time at Arsenal prematurely. Counting days til that bum Mhki leaves.

    1. “but FFS how many times did he create his own chance and softly roll one to goalie?”

      Seems in bid to quickly reply you failed to awe I pointed that fact out in the article

      1. I read that and was implying enough was enough, a sentiment shared by many I would add.

        Auba was golden boot winner and still you insinuate him and Laca at fault for Iwobi’s shortcomings, that’s quite shocking honestly.

        Was it the wrong time to sell Iwobi was the question you posed, I think anytime you’re offerd that price for a sub you take it, especially when you have backups ready to play. Glad Raul chose the club’s interests first for a change.

        1. Durand, Thank goodness for the voice of reason, sanity and perspective. I thought Eddie was doing his level best to make out a reasonable and well argued article but with a blatantly wrong theme at its heart. Namely that IWOBI was worth keeping for another season , which most of us, myself included, think he was NOT. I do agree with his take on both Ozil and Mkhi being liabilities and unsaleable, due to the stupidly awarded contracts. Neither should have ever been bought, though to be fair to Wenger, Ozil was, at his purchase time, still a world class player. Mkhi is just a useless and bone idle coaster and both have spines like jelly. In the vernacular, both lack “balls”!

          I also agree that IWOBI had guts character and was a Gooner at heart. Desperate shame therefore that he just was not good enough. Same applies to Jenkinson, sadly for both of them. In short, I agreed with most of Eddies comments apart from its CENTRAL THEME! My take is you should never keep players who are simply not good enough. We still have several of those left from Wengers time; Mustafi, Xhaka, Elneny prominent among them.

      2. The thing with stats is it gets misleading out of those many appearances the bulk of them where 10 minute appearances.He had 6 goals and 9 assists last season so that was a player who was improving . Like you said we could wait no more and its a good piece of business

    2. “That bum Mkhi” is just right and I reckon you well know which OTHER midfield bum I would like to move out too! If you include Xhaka and Elneny too that would be four totally useless and ineffective midfielders going. If only….! Sigh! I did not rate IWOBI either but would have rather kept him than any of them, but only IF we HAD to keep one of them! Truth is that we DO HAVE to keep OZIL and Mkhi, as no one else wants them and their laziness or their outrageous salaries.

      1. Jon Fox don’t bother debating this topic, not when the author would place blame on Auba and Laca for Iwobi looking under par. Sheesh, I’ve heard it all now.

        What next, blame someone else for his poor decision making? Maybe blame Nigerian players too for Iwobi’s end product? Utter nonsense.

        I guess Raul is a hater too for selling Iwobi and not patiently waiting?

        There’s a business side and good money should be taken when offered.

        We mugged Everton twice to the tune of nearly £70 million. I’d rather shipped out Mhki the louse rather than him leech another £180 from the coffers. Unfortunately other clubs are onto him and we’re left holding that bag.

        I put club before player no matter who it is. Look no further than Kos to see why. 10 yrs of Walcott is a painful reminder why club must come first.

        1. Durand, Your comments make me want to shout “Hurray” for intelligence and for the guts to shout it loud and clear!

          “Club before player, no matter who it is” should be stuck in the dressing room and also another one prominently displayed in public view in The Emirates for all to see. In fact, it would be well to make it our club motto! THAT PHRASE ENTIRELY SUMS UP MY WHOLE ATTITUDE TO SUPPORTING ARSENAL AND I AM CONSTANTLY AMAZED HOW MANY FANS DO NOT SEEM TO SHARE IT OR UNDERSTAND ITS WISDOM.

  3. We have a left winger in Gabriel Martinelli and he is establishing himself this season. We shoot ourselves in the foot if that dude is not given the chance.
    That is our Mbappe right there.
    Although I was cool with Iwobi, I believe that Martinelli will be an upgrade

      1. You can’t be so sure. I won’t be surprised when you guys start tearing him apart when he doesn’t perform.

        1. If Martinelli is milk toast after 3 years most fans will agree he deserves it.

          Saka will be the LW, kids a diamond and so so good. Once he gets his opportunity he’ll be golden.

        2. Ronche…well I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Martinelli, from the word go!! Did I ever feel like that about Iwobi? ?

          1. Durand after 3 years he’ll be twenty. He’d still have room to grow. If we’ve learnt anything from sterling and zaha, it’s to never write a player who has massive potential off in his formative years. But then it’s arsenal, moaning is in our DNA

        3. Yes we want the best. You must be shown the way if your output is below Arsenal’s standard though prefer encouraging the players to that of tearing them apart when they stumble.

  4. Really blaming Lacazette and Auba!and then you have the cheek to criticise some fans for they lack of knowledge lastly one thing for sure iwobi will never hit the heights that Ozil did when he was at the top of his game, Ozil at his best was world class something iwobi will never be and I’m saying it without any malice!

    1. WC players consistently turn up when it really matters. Do you honestly believe that is a fair description of Ozil?

      I agree that Iwobi will probably never reach the same levels as Ozil, but Ozil has not been a WC player for us.

    2. Did you read to understand or you read to reply? Nobody ever said Iwobi’s world class or will be, but then again.. Let’s all in every way see the boy as one of the worst players we’ve had recently

  5. I said my piece on him on another article ,I wish him all the best but he was never Arsenal quality ,I can’t see him doing well at Everton either ,they are just a team showing off spending money on players that no one else wants .
    Walcott was miles ahead of Iwobi and look what he’s done at Everton .
    Regarding this article Eddie I dont think there was a better time to sell him,40 mil is a ridiculous amount of money for a player of his standard.
    When we have been spoilt with talented wingers through the years iwobi was never going to cut it for most fans .

  6. His father (chuka iwobi) said he will play as a no 10 in Everton. After watching their game at Crystal palace I can tell he’ll be a Rockstar there. Don’t write iwobi off he’s only 23, Hungry and would want to prove his nay sayers wrong. He’ll come good. I’m sure of it

    1. I’m sure JustEverton will love your support then. If Iwobi was such a good 10, Emery would have played him when Ozil was absent for weeks right?

      But you know better then Emery I suppose. We’ll see this year. If Iwobi comes good I’ll be among first to eat my words.

      If he flops will you? Or will you say “he’s only 24 and STILL developing?

      1. How does wishing Iwobi well make him an Everton supporter now? Bit desperate to start arguments are we?

        1. Didn’t say he’s an Everton supporter, or to go support Everton did I? I was referring to their blog JustEverton would love his support as in comments and their blog post.

          Hence the “JustEverton” not Everton the club. Perhaps a bit more thought into context and accuracy on your part,

          1. Forgive me for wishing a true gooner success and putting my faith in him Durand. I love the guy as a player, same way I love jenko, same way I love the ox. He was sold last minute cos the offer was good not cos of his playing abilities or lack of. I really hope he proves his naysayers wrong the same way the ox did

          2. Ronche I wished him well also, on this thread and many others.

            Please read my comments again if there is a misunderstanding.

            I merely put clubs interest before players interests, regardless of the player. I feel the club and player are better off if Iwobi moves on, and gets the playing time he needs.

            That’s why a loan would have served all parties better IMHO couple years ago.

          3. Durand, that doesn’t even exist. You were just trying to stir something up because somebody has something nice to say about a TRUE gooner.

          4. RSH it was an obvious wordplay on the JustArsenal forum, sheesh. Do I have to explain everything to you?

            Obviously so I see. That’s the point of the forum, to stir things up and debate our differences of opinion!

            Oh dear, seems the concept is quite beyond your grasp.

            I wished Iwobi well with Everton, you forgot to mention that as well. Don’t bother responding until you can grasp context and accuracy and can hold your own in a TRUE debate.

  7. Iwobi has actually posted this:

    “I Grew Up Dreaming Of Playing For Arsenal, Following In The Footsteps Of Some Of My Hero’s [sic]. I’m Proud To Say That @ 23 I’ve Achieved One Of My Dreams.
    From Playing For Arsenal Kids To 149 Senior Appearances. It Was An Honour To Play For The Club I Supported As A Boy. I’ve Enjoyed Every Minute Of It.
    So Many People To Thank, Far Too Many Individual Names To Mention But I Thank You All ! So Many Great Moments, From Scoring My First Goal At The Emirates To Scoring My Last Goal In Baku.
    You’ve All Played A Big Part In My 17 Fantastic Years. Special Thanks To The Fans, My Team Mates, The Support Staff, My Coaches Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery Who Put Faith In Me And Gave Me The Opportunity to Grow As A Player And A Man.
    BIG Love To A Special Club. Arsenal Will Be Forever In My Heart.”

    Must have been hard for him as a lifelong gooner that actually had a chance to be a starter (unlike Jenko). Still, I think putting trust in Martinelli, Saka, and Reiss Nelson has to be given priority this year, and funds will be useful next year…

    1. Diogenes, the problem is with the whole situation since the fact he has moved to Everton, hasn’t changed anyone’s view of the players capabilities.

      Every single player we have, divides the fanbase one way or the other.

      My imput into the man is that he never disgraced himself, was a model professional, loved the club and will always be welcome back at The Emirates.
      He was always seemed about to break into the first team and both AW and UE showed faith in him, but it never just happened.

      Now he has a chance to prove his worth at another club, one that values him highly.
      Time will tell if he has it in him and I can’t believe any gooner doesn’t wish him well.
      He lived the dream at HIS club…lucky bu**er!!!

      1. ? ken, totally agree, except when Iwobi went out partying before a match; however we were all young once.

      2. Great context Ken. As I said before, (with no sarcasm or irony intended blessed are the peacemakers. Wish I could keep this more in the front of my mind. Knowing the truth of something but then constantly forgetting it is foolish. I AM that fool!

  8. Starting at Newcastle tomorrow, selling Iwobi will start proving to the board that it was a grave mistake….

    No left-winger left at the club now!!!! Shot in the foot stuff!!!

    I remember we had no right winger and we were trying Mkitaryan in No. 7 because Man Utd had previously been playing him there — which has not and will not work. Now this has been solved with PEPE.
    Then at the last minute, Arsenal shoots itself in the foot and they sell the only winger on the opposite side!!!! Utter b**lsh*t…

    One other thing that baffles me is the lack of proper preparation that our team has been accorded….
    The manager had to give our big guns (Pepe, Torreira, Ceballos, Iwobi) extended playing time in the last 2 pre-season games… Instead he chose to put in kids (that are never going to start in our team) to enjoy life….., thus making us half-baked for the start of the season….. HAHAHA THIS MANAGER!!!!!!!!! Then come the injuries…

    1. Mayert, I look forward to your application for the Head Coach (not Manager) position, should Emery not have his contract extended at the end of this season.

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