Everton of England summer signing, Alex Iwobi has received a very low fitness rating at the club he joined from Arsenal earlier this month, as The Toffees’ coach, Marco Silva says the Super Eagles’ star is not yet fit enough to play 90 minutes in the English Premier League.
Silva said ahead of Friday’s clash away to Aston Villa that he is eager to see Iwobi play, and feels inclined to line the playmaker out at Villa Park, which is likely to happen, but the Portuguese tactician hinted that it will not be for the entire duration.
Iwobi is quite eager to make his Everton debut, but Silva insists the star is not in not yet in peak condition, as he did not take part in pre-season training before arriving at Goodison Park on transfer deadline day.
However, Iwobi may get a bit-part role, as Everton attempt to equal a 107-year-old club record when they battle Villa, heading into which The Toffees are the only team yet to concede a goal after the opening two matches of the new EPL season.
Silva’s men were held to a goalless draw by Crystal Palace on match day one and then beat Watford 1-0 in the next fixture last Saturday, such that The Toffees’ goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford stands to set a new mark should he get a third straight shut-out against Villa.
He would help the current squad become the first Everton side to start a top-flight campaign with three consecutive clean sheets since the 1912-1913 season, thereby putting the squad in buoyant mood early in the new campaign, for which Iwobi is one of their marquee signings.
However, after emerging as an unused substitute last weekend, when The Toffees got their first win of the season against Watford, Iwobi will again start from the dugout, as Silva said the new singing will not play the whole duration of Friday night’s fixture against Villa.
Silva said: ”For sure he’s looking forward to it, and we all are; but he started really late, just now it’s his second week working with the team.
“He didn’t have a pre-season (and) we have to take care about the situation giving him enough time to get fitter.
“If we need him during the games he is available to help us. Not for 90 minutes, but he’s getting better. If I decide, he’ll be ready to help.”
Ndidi Set To Miss Clash With Sheffiled United
Leicester City midfielder, Wilfred Onyinyen Ndidi has been cast in doubt for an appearance for The Foxes this weekend against Sheffield United, as he is said to be suffering discomfort from a hamstring complaint.
Just few days after Leicester formally urged Super Eagles’ coach, Gernot Rohr to rest Ndidi for Nigerian national team matches in the coming months, the former EPL champions have now categorically stated that the lad is not available for the September 10 friendly away to Ukraine.
A report by allnigeriasoccer.com reveals that Ndidi even had to play through the pain barrier in The Foxes’ last EPL match, in which he scored a face-saving late equalizer, after giving away a sloppy goal to their hosts, Chelsea, and both sides battled to a 1-1 draw on August 18.
Leicester’s doctors have now disclosed that Ndidi is out with a hamstring problem and could miss their next two matches against Sheffield United in the EPL, as well as with Newcastle United in the Carabao League Cup.
Though the former Racing Genk of Belgium battler had not featured in any of the pre-season games for Leicester, due to commitments with the Eagles at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, Foxes’ boss, Brendan Rodgers still named the holding midfielder in his first two starting line-ups for the season, against Wolverhampton Wanderers and then Chelsea.
After starring in every single game for Leicester last season, Ndidi went on to play all of the Eagles’ games at AFCON 2019, only for him to keep the pace going in The Foxes’ first two matches of the new campaign, but Rodgers admits the battler has not had enough rest.
Consequently, Rodgers had earlier stated that he wants Ndidi to take a break, to prevent him from burning out as the season progresses, but the gaffer’s worst fears have now been confirmed with the hamstring diagnosis from the medical crew at King Power Stadium.