Alex Iwobi Signs Five-Year Deal With Everton

Alex Iwobi                                                                                                                                       AFP Photo

 

Everton sealed the deadline-day signing of Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi on Thursday for a reported fee of £28 million ($40 million), completing a busy transfer window for the club.

Nigeria international Iwobi penned a five-year deal which was only announced more than four hours after the transfer deadline of 1700 local time (1600 GMT).

The 23-year-old, capped 36 times by Nigeria, scored 15 goals in 149 appearances for Arsenal after making his first-team debut in 2015.

“He is still young but already with a lot of top-level experience –- 100 Premier League matches, more in Europe and many international games,” said Everton manager Marco Silva.

Iwobi is the seventh new arrival at Goodison Park in the close season, following Italy striker Moise Kean — who joined from Serie A champions Juventus for 27.5 million euros ($31m, £25m) — right-back Djibril Sidibe, midfielders Andre Gomes, Fabian Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin, as well as goalkeeper Jonas Lossl.

“Alex fits exactly the profile of player I want in my model,” added Silva.

“He is hungry to join Everton and take the next step in his career, to help us compete with the strongest teams in the league and reach his potential at our club.”

Everton finished eighth in the Premier League last term to miss out on European qualification in Silva’s first season as boss.

 

Nigeria Recall Arsenal’s Iwobi For Zambia Tie

Kelechi Iheanacho, Arsenal, Alex Iwobi, Arsene Wenger
Alex Iwobi

Nigeria on Tuesday recalled Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi for next month’s crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier against their main rivals Zambia.

The 21-year-old was ruled out of the double-header against Cameroon earlier this month with a thigh strain, but should be fit for the next game in Uyo on October 7.

The Super Eagles top Group B with 10 points and with Zambia on seven and just two rounds of matches to go a win for Nigeria puts them in the finals in Russia.

Also in the group but already out of contention are African champions Cameroon in third with just three while Algeria prop up the table with one point.

Forward Ahmed Musa, who has yet to feature for Leicester City this season, was a surprise call-up after coach Gernot Rohr said his selection was based on current form and match time.

Rohr dropped goalkeeper Dele Alampasu, who has not played for his Portuguese club, Cesarense.

Nigeria squad to play Zambia in Uyo, southern Nigeria, on October 7:

Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United/RSA), Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC Ifeanyi Ubah), Ayodele Ajiboye (Plateau United)

Defenders: William Ekong (Bursaspor/TUR), Abdullahi Shehu (Anorthosis Famagusta/CYP), Leon Balogun (Mainz 05/GER), Elderson Echiejile (Sivasspor FC/TUR), Uche Agbo (Standard Liege/BEL), Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes/FRA), Olaoluwa Aina (Hull City/ENG)

Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Tianjin Teda/CHN), Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC/TUR), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City/ENG), Oghenekaro Etebo (CD Feirense/POR), John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva/ISR), Mikel Agu (Bursaspor/TUR)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa, Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City/ENG), Moses Simon (KAA Gent/BEL), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC/ENG), Odion Ighalo (Chang Chun-Yatai/CHN), Victor Moses (Chelsea/ENG), Anthony Nwakaeme (Hapoel Be’er Sheva/ISR)

AFP

World Cup Qualifier: Samuel To Replace Injured Iwobi

(L) Aaron Samuel (R ) Alex Iwobi. PHOTO: TWITTER/ARSENAL

Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has called up Aaron Samuel to replace injured Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi for the crucial World Cup qualifier against African champions Cameroon on September 4.

Samuel who plays his trade with Russia’s Cska Moscow made the last of seven international appearances two years ago.

Iwobi was due to join the Super Eagles training camp on Monday after Arsenal’s Premier League game at Liverpool later on Sunday.

Read Also: Nigeria Qualify For FIBA World Cup

Iwobi, the nephew of legendary Nigeria star Jay-Jay Okocha, had played in Nigeria’s first two World Cup qualifiers against Zambia and Algeria, scoring in a 2-1 win in Zambia in October 2016.

Standard Liege defender Uche Agbo has also been given a late call-up.

Arsenal Crash At Home To Watford, As Chelsea Draw At Anfield

Arsenal Crash At Home To Watford, As Chelsea Draw At AnfieldArsenal suffered a shock loss 2-1 loss to Watford at the Emirates in the English Premier League on Tuesday night.

It was Watford’s first Premier League away win at Arsenal as two goals in the first 13 minutes set up the 2-1 victory.

Former Tottenham Hotspur defender Younes Kaboul opened the scoring with a powerful drive aided by a deflection off Aaron Ramsey, who limped off with an injury.

Watford’s second came three minutes later as Troy Deeney slotted in after Petr Cech parried Etienne Capoue’s shot into his path.

But Alex Iwobi slotted in from Alexis Sanchez’s chipped cross on 54 minutes and Lucas Perez crashed an effort against the crossbar as Arsenal piled the pressure on in the second half, but Watford held on.

Chelsea and Liverpool played a 1-1 draw at Anfield as the visitors missed the chance of an 11-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

Georginio Wijnaldum’s header earned Liverpool the equalizer after David Luiz’s 25th minute free-kick had put them ahead.

Chelsea could have taken all three points but Diego Costa’s penalty was saved by Mignolet.

In other matches, Crystal Palace beat Bournemouth 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium while relegation threatened Sunderland played a goalless draw with Tottenham Hotspur to ensure all top teams dropped points on the night.

Elsewhere Sam Voke’s 87th minute goal was all Burnley needed to beat Leicester City 1-0 at Turf Moor while Middleborough and West Brom played a 1-1 draw in a keenly contested encounter at the Riverside Stadium.

Swansea City defeated Southampton 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium.

CAF Awards: Mahrez Is Africa’s Best Footballer In 2016

CAF Awards: Mahrez Is Africa's Best Footballer In 2016Algerian attacker and Leicester City player, Riyad Mahrez has been named the African Footballer of the Year 2016.

He was announced winner at the 2016 Glo CAF Awards which held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city on Thursday.

Mahrez beat Gabonese striker, Pierre Emerick Aubamenyang who was last year’s winner and Senegal’s Sadio Mane to win the African Best Player crown.

It was a good night for Nigeria as Asisat Oshoala won the award for Women Player of the Year.

Most Promising Player of the Year Award went to Nigeria and Manchester City youngster, Kelechi Iheanacho, while his compatriot in Arsenal, Alex Iwobi won the Youth Player of the Year.

The record-breaking Super Falcons of Nigeria rode on the back of their triumph at the 2016 African Women’s Nations Cup to emerge Women’s National Team of the Year.

National Team of the Year went to the Ugandan national team while their goalkeeper, Denis Onyango emerged Africa-based African Player of the Year.

Mamelodi Sundowns coach, Pitso Mosimane defeated Super Falcons coach, Florence Omagbemi to win the Coach of the Year while Mosimane’s club, Mamelodi Sundowns also emerged Club of the Year.

Bakary Papa Gassama won the Referee of the Year Award.

CAF Awards: Mahrez Is Africa's Best Footballer In 2016

 

Omagbemi, Iwobi Others Selected For CAF Awards

CAF Awards, Florence Omagbemi, Kelechi IheanachoSuper Falcon’s coach, Florence Omagbemi and Nigerian international, Kelechi Iheanacho, have made the final shortlists for the 2016 Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) Awards.

Top scorer at the just concluded Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON), Asisat Oshoala, was also included on the list.

Others who also received nominations are Super Eagles duo, Alex Iwobi and Oghenekaro Etebo as well as Nigeria’s U-23 team.

Omagbemi, who recently led the Falcons to their eighth AWCON title in Cameroon, was nominated in the coach of the year category while Oshola was nominated in the women’s player of the year class.

Etebo and Iheanacho were also shortlisted in the promising talents category.

For the youth player of the year award, Iwobi would contend with Ghana’s Eric Ayiah and Sandra Ansah, Franck Jessie of Cote d’Ivoire and Sikiki Maiga from Mali.

Nigeria Trash Algeria 3-1 In World Cup Qualifier

World Cup Qualifier: Nigeria Trash Algeria 3-1 in UyoThe Super Eagles of Nigeria have beaten the Desert Warriors of Algeria 3-1 in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

Chelsea forward Victor Moses scored Nigeria’s first goal in the 26th minute after a mix up in the Algerian defence.

Captain Mikel Obi added a second on 42 minutes after beating the offside trap set by the Algerian defence.

Nabil Bentaleb pulled one back for Algeria in the second half but Victor Moses’s 2nd goal of match wrapped up all three points for the Super Eagles.

Nigeria now have six points from the two matches played and have created a 4-point lead after Cameroon and Zambia played a 1-1 draw in the group’s other game.

Cameroon are second with two points while Zambia and Algeria who have both lost to Nigeria have one point each.

Georges Leekens’ men are now in danger of missing out on the 2018 World Cup in spite of having some of the continent’s most in-form players and being ranked third in the continent behind the Ivory Coast and Senegal.

Before the match, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, promised Super Eagles players $10,000 for every unreplied goal they score against Algeria, in the World Cup qualifier.

Governor Udom made this promise, when he visited the team at their Le Meridien Hotel camp, accompanied by his predecessor, Godswill Akpabio.

The Governor had donated 10million naira to the three-time African champions, after they defeated Tanzania 1-0 in September.

Governor Udom Promises Super Eagles $10,000 Per Goal

Governor Udom Promises Super Eagles $10,000 Per GoalAkwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has promised Super Eagles players $10,000 for every unreplied goal they score against Algeria, in Saturday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier.

Governor Udom made this promise, when he visited the team at their Le Meridien Hotel camp, accompanied by his predecessor, Godswill Akpabio.

The Governor had donated 10million naira to the three-time African champions, after they defeated Tanzania 1-0 in September.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will host Algeria in this weekend’s biggest African qualifying matches for the 2018 World Cup.

Algeria, ranked third in the continent behind the Ivory Coast and Senegal, face a resurgent Group B pacesetters Nigeria at the ‘Nest of champions’ in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

While Algeria could not hold an early lead in a surprise 1-1 home draw with Cameroon in October, Nigeria made a perfect start by winning 2-1 in Zambia.

The Uyo showdown marks the debut of Belgian coach, Georges Leekens, the third handler of Algeria this year after Frenchman Christian Gourcoff and Serb Milovan Rajevac.

Starting Line-up

Coach Gernot Rohr has released his team list for the crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier.

Daniel Akpeyi starts in goal while Kenneth Omeruo, William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun and Elderson Eciejile will file out in defence.

Captain Mikel Obi and Ogenyi Onazi will marshal the midfield while Victor Moses, Oghenekaro Etebo, Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi are the forwards.

The game kicks off 5pm Nigerian time.

Rohr Wants Super Eagles To Stay Focused

Rohr Wants Super Eagles To Stay FocusedSuper Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, is not getting carried away with the form of his players ahead of the game against Algeria.

He wants the players to stay grounded despite their winning start in their World Cup qualifiers.

A win against the Algerians in Uyo will put the three-time African kings in good position to reach Russia 2018.

While acknowledging Nigeria’s confidence, the German insisted that there is still plenty of work to do before facing the North African giants.

Super Eagles players Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi, Daniel Akpeyi, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Musa Muhammed, Onazi Ogenyi and Odion Ighalo are the early birds in the team camp head of the 2018 World Cup qualifier on Saturday, November 12.

The coaching crew are confident that the bulk of the 23-man squad will be in camp by Tuesday night as the former African champions begin training on Wednesday morning.

The team will train twice daily in Abuja before heading to Uyo, Akwa Ibom state venue of the game against Algeria on Thursday.

The Super Eagles are top of Group B with three points after they beat Zambia 2-1 in Ndola last month and Algeria were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Cameroon.

Super Eagles Beat Plateau United 3-0 In Test Match

Super Eagles, Plateau UnitedThe Super Eagles on Wednesday defeated local league side, Plateau United, 3 – 0 in a test match at the National Stadium in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Anderson Esiti’s goal and Alex Iwobi’s brace gave the Eagles a whopping victory over the Nigerian Premier League club.

Coach Gernot Rohr lined up his players for the practice game as he intensifies Nigeria’s preparations for Sunday’s Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier against Zambia in Ndola.

The coach reportedly made wholesome changes to the playing personnel at half time after struggling in the first half.

The move paid off as the Eagles became more dangerous, confining their opponents to their half of the field.

The starting 11 had Ezenwa, Musa Muhammed, Madu, Jamiu, Agbo, Esiti, Shehu, Ahmed Musa, Chisom Egbuchulam, Nosa and Obaje.

While the second half featured Ikeme, Echiejile, Omeruo, Ekong, Onazi, Mikel, Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Iwobi, Ndidi and Ideye.

Iheanacho, Iwobi Nominated For Golden Boy Award

iheanacho, Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Arsenal, Alex Iwobi, Arsene Wenger, Golden BoyNigeria internationals Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi have been shortlisted for the 2016 edition of the Golden Boy Award.

Iheanacho who recently became the first Nigerian to score in the Manchester derby made the list having scored 10 goals in the 2015/2016 season and has three so far in the ongoing 2016/17 season.

Iwobi got into the Arsenal first team last season, scoring two goals and has become a regular for the Gunners this season.

The Golden Boy Award is meant for the best player under the age of 21 who play in a European nation’s top division.

Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford also made the cut.

The 18-year-old talent has enjoyed a stellar 2016 since making his Manchester United debut in February, including becoming an England international.

Tottenham also have a representative in England international Dele Alli. The 20-year-old scored 11 goals last season as Spurs finished third in the Premier League.

There are three representatives from Chelsea (Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Andreas Christensen and Nathan), while Manchester City have two (Kelechi Iheanacho and Leroy Sane).

Leicester City’s Demarai Gray and Liverpool’s Marko Grujic complete the list of 10 Premier League-based players on the 40-man shortlist.

Super Eagles Squad For Zambia Clash Released

Gernot Rohr,Super Eagles On FIFA RankingSuper eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, has released final squad for next month’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying clash against Zambia’s Chipolopolo in Ndola.

The goalkeepers are Carl Ikeme, Emmanuel Daniel and Ikechukwu Ezenwa.

The defenders are Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, Jamiu Alimi, Abdullahi Shehu.

Others are Musa Muhammed, Elderson Echiejile and Kingsley Madu.

Chelsea star, Mikel Obi leads a midfield that include Ogenyi Onazi, Wilfred Ndidi, Nosa Igiebor, and Anderson Esiti.

Ahmed Musa, Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Victor Moses, Saac Success, Brown Ideye and Alex Iwobi will lead the attack.

Invited players are expected to start arriving in Abuja as from October 2, 2016.