Alex Iwobi says it is a joy to be part of Everton’s “fluid” and enterprising forward line – and there is plenty of scope for the Blues to improve following the current international break.
The forward has scored twice in his first two Everton starts – admitting he’s surprised even himself by converting with his head in successive matches – and smoothly bedded into Marco Silva’s side following his deadline-day switch from Arsenal.
Iwobi’s athletic leap and finish from Gylfi Sigurdsson’s wonderful right-wing delivery against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday followed his instinctive effort in last week’s Carabao Cup success at Lincoln City.
Urged by Silva to up his scoring rate when he arrived from the Emirates Stadium, Iwobi reckons his manager’s enterprising tactics are enabling him to answer that demand.
“The manager wanted me and Richarlison to stay wide and stretch Wolves as much as possible,” explained Iwobi.
“We did that and created space for Seamus [Coleman] and Lucas [Digne], which we used to our advantage.
“Everyone is buying into his ideas and it seems to be working.
“We knew how difficult it would be against Wolves, they have a strong team and are trying to compete for the top six.
“But we got the result, it has been a great start for me and we are back to winning ways, which is the main thing.
“We are playing a lot of attacking football, we score goals and have a lot of fluidity in the attacking third.”
Iwobi was in the thick of a healthy slice of Everton’s offensive play at the weekend, dovetailing efficiently with rampaging full-back Lucas Digne and forward-thinking pair Sigurdsson and Moise Kean.
He ran himself into the ground in his team’s cause during 76 minutes on the field and in common with fellow home debutants Kean and Fabian Delph made a positive first impression on Evertonians.
The speedy nature of Iwobi’s acclimatisation is such that he’s had some ribbing for his newly-discovered heading prowess.
Of the 15 goals he scored for Arsenal and six for Nigeria, only one was with his head – for the Gunners against Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day 2017.
“I don’t know what’s been happening, they [teammates] laugh at me when I try to head the ball in training,” said Iwobi.
“But the practice has been paying off.
“I was just trying keep it on target [against Wolves]. I didn’t know I could jump that high.
“I have been welcomed really warmly and I want to help my team with goals and assists whenever I can.
“I am enjoying myself and hopefully I will make more memories here.
“Our start has been okay and we will try to take that on after the international break.
“But there is always room for improvement.”
Iwobi’s weekend goal against Wolves restored Everton’s lead after Romain Saiss had levelled Richarlison’s fifth-minute strike.
And Everton responded again following the visitors’ second equaliser, scored by Raul Jimenez with 15 minutes remaining, when Richarlison sent an exceptional header beyond goalkeeper Rui Patricio to win the match.
Amid it all midfielder Delph contributed a formidable effort, which did not go unnoticed by his colleagues.
“Fabian is able to help everyone,” added Iwobi.
“Even in training, he is a leader, always talking, always trying to help, especially the young boys, and always trying to share his experience.
“He is everywhere on the pitch trying to help us. He is a top player and good addition to the squad.”