Football

Everton sign Alex Iwobi from Arsenal for £34 million

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Everton sealed the deadline-day signing of Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi on Thursday, completing a busy transfer window for the club.

Everton had an initial bid of £30m turned down but their improved offer – an initial £28m, rising to £34m with potential add-ons – was accepted.

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.

“Alex was one of our main targets for this window and I believe he is a fantastic signing. He is a direct and skilful winger and attacking midfielder who always works very hard,” said Everton manager Marco Silva.

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

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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.”

Alex Iwobi leaves Arsenal having made 149 appearances for the Gunners since his debut in October 2015, scoring 15 goals.

There was increased competition for Iwobi’s position at Arsenal following the arrival of Nicolas Pepe from Lille for a club record £72m.

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Iwobi now begins a new chapter of his career at Everton, as the Toffees target an improvement on last season’s eighth-place finish.

In an attempt to do that, Silva has reshaped his squad over the summer with seven arrivals and nine permanent departures.

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