Former Arsenal forward Nwankwo Kanu has reiterated his stance that winger Alex Iwobi should not have been sold to Premier League rivals Everton in 2019.
Iwobi, 24, came up through the Gunners youth ranks before making his first-team debut in October 2015. He went on to make 149 appearances in all competitions for the north Londoners, scoring 15 goals. Having enjoyed 35 top-flight outings in 2018-2019, he was sold to the Toffees by then Arsenal boss Unai Emery.
As he approaches the end of his second campaign on Merseyside, Iwobi has enjoyed 52 Premier League outings. Carlo Ancelotti’s side have outperformed Arsenal this season.
They sit in eighth spot – one place and three points better off than Mikel Arteta’s men and with a game in hand.
Nigerian Kanu was critical of the decision to sell his compatriot two years’ ago. And he has seen nothing since to change his stance on the matter.
“I was surprised they let Alex Iwobi go when they did,” he told Ladbrokes (via The Metro). “He was supposed to be a part of this team and I think they’d be a better team with him in it.
“He’s Arsenal blood and he’s always given his all for the team. He plays at an international level. I believe he’d be much more comfortable in this Arsenal team than he is in the Everton team.”
Kanu jury out on Arteta
Kanu played 197 times for the Emirates outfit between 1999 and 2004, scoring 43 times. All of his time in the red and white was under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal have not been able to replicate the success that the Frenchman achieved since his departure. Arteta is the latest man charged with the task of bringing back the good times.
He did win the FA Cup last season but has been unable to inspire his men in the league this term. However, the Gunners are into the semi-finals of the Europa League where they face Emery’s Villareal.
Kanu has reserved judgement on the Spaniard but feels winning Europe’s second-tier competition will help.
“It’s a difficult one to assess as far as Arsenal’s season is concerned because domestically they aren’t anywhere near what we’re used to seeing, but in Europe they look really strong,” he added.
“The coach did a good job in winning the FA Cup last season but this is a big club, and the expectation of a big club is to win the league.
“As things stand, you can’t rate Arsenal highly in terms of performances in the Premier League, but if they can win the Europa League, it gives them a good balance, knowing they have struggled in the league.
“You can’t exactly say that Mikel Arteta is doing an amazing job, but we have to remember he’s in a European semi-final and he’s working hard.”