Alex Iwobi had a quiet game as Everton bowed 1-0 to Chelsea in Saturday’s Premier League outing.
Having impressed during his club’s pre-season campaign, the former Arsenal player was expected to keep the fire burning against the Blues.
That informed Frank Lampard to start him in the middle alongside Mali’s Abdoulaye Doucoure, Demarai Gray, and Dwight McNeil in a four-man midfield.
Despite featuring from start to finish, the Nigeria international could not stop Thomas Tuchel’s side from leaving Goodison Park with all three points, also he showed some flashes of brilliance.
Aside from the fact that he could not find the net, he failed to muster a shot on goal throughout the encounter.
However, he produced two key passes, and accounted for 37 passes with a passing accuracy of 81.1 per cent.
Offensively, he completed a single dribble and was never caught offside or dispossessed in the low-scoring affair.
He added value to Everton defensively with statistics showing he boasts three clearances, two interceptions and committed a foul once.
The Toffees endured a difficult 2021-22 season as they were sucked into a relegation battle but secured their safety with two matches left to the end of the season.
Iwobi was among the shining lights who spearheaded the club’s fight to keep their status in the top-flight, as he started and finished in their last 12 matches of the season.
On his plans for the new season, the Nigeria international told the club website that: “My first couple of years here weren’t the greatest but this [the final weeks of the season] was my best period at Everton.
“I want to use it as a platform to kick on and make more positive memories with this club. I am young and have a lot of time ahead. I want to win something with Everton – and do my best for the club.”
Just as Iwobi, Mali’s Abdoulaye Doucoure played all 90 minutes but Cote d’Ivoire’s Jean-Philippe Gbamin was an unused substitute.
Following their failed expedition against Chelsea, Lampard’s team would be hoping to earn their first victory of the 2022-23 campaign versus Aston Villa on August 13.