Nwankwo Kanu criticises former Arsenal manager Unai Emery’s ‘surprising’ decision to sell Alex Iwobi to Everton

Nwanko Kanu was 'surprised' Arsenal sold Alex Iwobi
Nwanko Kanu was ‘surprised’ Arsenal sold Alex Iwobi (Picture: Getty)

Nwankwo Kanu insists he was ‘surprised’ former Arsenal manager Unai Emery sold Alex Iwobi to Everton in 2019 and says the Gunners would be a ‘better team’ if he was still at the Emirates.

Nigeria international Iwobi spent more than a decade at Arsenal’s academy and then four years in the first-team before being offloaded to Everton in the summer of 2019.

Arsenal received around £30million for Iwobi but Gunners legend Kanu believes selling the forward was a mistake.

In the summer Iwobi was sold, former manager Emery broke Arsenal’s transfer record by signing Ivory Coast winger Nicolas Pepe from Lille.

‘I was surprised they let Alex Iwobi go when they did,’ Kanu, speaking to Ladbrokes at its launch of the 5-A-Side Bet on Arsenal v Everton, said.

‘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.’

Iwobi joined Arsenal's Premier League rivals Everton in 2019
Iwobi joined Arsenal’s Premier League rivals Everton in 2019 (Picture: Getty)

Iwobi, 24, scored 15 goals in 149 appearances for Arsenal and has netted four goals in 62 matches for Everton.

Under Emery’s successor, Mikel Arteta, Arsenal have endured a difficult season and sit ninth in the Premier League with six matches to play.

They could yet, however, salvage their campaign and qualify for next year’s Champions League by winning the Europa League ahead of their semi-final tie against Emery’s Villareal.

On Arteta, Kane added: ‘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.

Unai Emery was sacked by Arsenal in November 2019 and replaced by Mikel Arteta
Unai Emery was sacked by Arsenal in November 2019 and replaced by Mikel Arteta (Picture: Getty)

‘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. He’s not been in charge for very long so it’s tough to judge him too much.’

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