Nigerian superstar Alex Iwobi kicked off the 2022/23 Premier League season for his team Everton against Chelsea in the starting lineup but playing in an unusual position.
Frank Lampard follows Jose Peseiro's lead by playing Iwobi in Central midfield
Alex Iwobi started the game against Chelsea in an odd position, similar to what he did recently for the Super Eagles under Jose Peseiro
Everton boss Frank Lampard played a 3-4-3 formation in Everton's season opener at Goodison Park against Chelsea with two central midfielders namely Abdoulaye Doucore and Alex Iwobi.
Iwobi started his career as a purely creative midfielder playing the number 10 role but also featured on the wings and has since evolved into a wingback but only recently started playing in Central midfield, first for Nigeria and now for Everton.
Like Peseiro like Lampard
Frank Lampard made the decision to start Alex Iwobi in central midfield ahead of Allan, Jean-Phillipe Gbamin and Dele Alli who are all players on the Everton bench more familiar with that role than the Nigerian international.
His decision might have been influenced by Iwobi playing central midfield for the Super Eagles of Nigeria in recent games under new head coach Jose Peseiro.
Peseiro has handled Nigeria for four games against Mexico, Ecuador, Sierra Leone and Sao Tome and the Portuguese tactician used Alex Iwobi as one of two central midfielders in three of those games.
Iwobi held his own in what was relatively a new position for him and displayed an impressive level of stability which must have prompted his club coach, Frank Lampard to try him out in that role.
How did he do?
Making his Premier League central midfield debut, Alex Iwobi put up a good display against Chelsea’s world-class midfield duo of Jorginho and Ngolo Kante.
Iwobi exerted a lot of energy, striking a fine balance between his offensive and defensive duties and complementing Abdoulaye Doucoure well.
The Nigerian made a few mistakes though which is not unusual for someone who is not a natural but he did well enough to convince Lampard to play him there again.