Iwobi not yet 100 per cent ready, says Silva

Nigeria’s forward Alex Iwobi. Giuseppe CACACE / AFP


Everton Manager, Marco Silva yesterday declared that Super Eagles’ forward, Alex Iwobi is not yet ready for his first start in the English Premier League.

Iwobi was Everton’s last business on deadline day with the former Arsenal star arriving on the last day.Given an update on when Everton fans might expect more game time from his summer signings, including Djibril Sidibe, Alex Iwobi and Moise Kean, Silva assured Everton fans that he was working on getting them ready for games.

On Iwobi, he said: “Yes of course! For sure he’s looking forward to it, and we all are.“But he started really late, just now it’s his second week working with the team and he didn’t have a pre-season.“We have to take care about the situation giving him enough time to get fitter.

“Of course if we need him during the games he is available to help us. Not for 90 minutes, but he’s getting better. If I decide, he’ll be ready to help.”Sidibe was among the later arrivals on loan fro Monaco, being brought to challenge Seamus Coleman for the right-back role following Jonjoe Kenny’s temporary switch to Schalke. And Silva believes the World Cup winner is physically ready whenever he is needed.

He said: “He’s trying to settle. Of course his situation is a little bit different than the other new players we signed, because Djibril did a whole pre-season with his former club. “When he arrived his physical condition was really good and he’s ready to play if I decide in this way.
“Of course now it’s just a matter of him understanding our idea and philosophy as well. But if I decide, he’s ready to play.”

Iwobi was Everton’s only deadline day signing, fully completing his switch from Arsenal a few hours after the window closed.

The former Arsenal man was on the bench for the Blues’ game against Watford at Goodison Park last weekend, but Silva is still focused on giving the forward as much time as possible to find fitness.Kean, however, did get off the bench in the latter stages of the win over Watford after also being introduced as a substitute during the opening day match with Crystal Palace.

And Silva confirmed the striker would be ready to start if he made such a decision.“I think it’s a normal process, not just with him,” the boss added.“He’s working hard, trying to show his quality for me and for his teammates also, trying to settle as fast as he can and working not just on the pitch but outside it also.“It’s up to us to keep working with him. If he starts or not, it’s for me to decide.”

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Alex IwobiMarco Silva
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