Everton have opened talks with Nigerian midfielder Alex Iwobi over a new contract at Goodison Park and are expected to speed up conversations with the 26-year-old in the coming weeks, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The Toffees are keen to tie their best players down to fresh terms and have already opened talks with Jordan Pickford and Anthony Gordon, and are now keen to get Iwobi to put pen to paper.
According to David Ornstein of the Athletic, the club have already opened talks with the Nigeria international about new terms.
“Everton have opened talks with the Nigeria international about a fresh deal,” he wrote in The Athletic.
“Preliminary conversations have taken place in regard to Iwobi — as well as team-mates like Pickford and Gordon — and that dialogue is set to ramp up in the coming weeks, with the Goodison Park hierarchy seeking to extend their careers on Merseyside.”
Everton worked really hard during the summer transfer window to rebuild their squad to something that Frank Lampard wanted to work with following the exit of Richarlison to Tottenham.
Now, the club is tasked with the next stage, which is keeping key players at Goodison Park.
Goalkeeper Pickford’s importance to the side doesn’t need to be explained, as is Gordon’s, and with mega transfer interest in the youngster during the summer, it’s obvious why a new deal is on the table.
Iwobi struggled under previous Everton bosses, including Marco Silva, Rafa Benitez and Carlo Ancelotti.
He faced criticisms from fans and pundits, with many believing him to be a flop after he joined the Toffees from Arsenal in the summer of 2019.
But Iwobi’s transformation under Lampard in the last nine months has been sensational and he has genuinely become one of the best central midfielders in the league.
His energy, pace, ball carrying, and pressing are of the highest level for Everton right now and he ensures that everyone around him is leaving everything on the pitch all the time.
The English manager has deployed Iwobi’s versatility, with the Nigerian playing as a winger, full-back, wing-back and playmaker.
But Iwobi has settled down to a central midfield role this term. From there, the 26-year-old has produced consistently excellent performances, winning over even his harshest critics.
Last weekend, Iwobi delivered the assist for Neil Maupay’s winner in the 1-0 defeat of West Ham at Goodison – the Toffees’ first win of the season.
With his current deal set to expire in 2024, it’s the perfect time to start talks and if Everton can convince him to put pen to paper on a new deal, it will go a long way in keeping the squad together and building a foundation to work on and move away from relegation battles.