The Arsenal academy graduate has not lived up to expectations since moving to Goodison Park last summer
Alex Iwobi has acknowledged he needs to show more of the “hype” about him after a string of unimpressive performances for Everton this season.
The 24-year old Nigerian has featured 22 times in all competitions for the Toffees but has only just two goals to his name and one assist.
His lack of form has led to questions about the £35 million fee Everton paid to get him from Arsenal and his worth as a player despite showing potential as a teenager at Arsenal and for famously being the nephew of Super Eagles legend Jay-Jay Okocha.
“I’m no longer that young prospect, that young talent. I have to show why there was so much hype about me,” Iwobi was quoted saying in the Daily Mail.
“The only way you can do that is in games. I feel I’m at that time in my career when I need to start doing that. I need to up my stats a bit more, improve a bit more. That will come. I’m looking forward to restarting the season so I can prove myself.”
Everton resume league action when they host cross-town rivals and runaway leaders Liverpool in the Merseyside derby on Sunday.
The Toffees are winless in 18 top-flight encounters against the Reds, failing to score in their last three derbies at Goodison Park.
Iwobi acknowledges that it is something that has to change as they prepare to play without their supporters. He also wants to ensure the men in blue delay Jurgen Klopp’s men from winning a historic league title for the first time in 30 years.
“We have to accept it’s not a great record but we are on our own turf, even without fans. We’re going from no games to a derby, everyone will put in the hard graft, that extra bit of helping a team-mate,” he continued.
“We’re like one big family. You wouldn’t want a family member going into a challenge on their own or fighting a war without being there for each other.
“I’m sure there would have been no better feeling for Liverpool than winning the title at Goodison. They can’t but we will still treat it the same. We are ready for the war.”
Iwobi also spoke on former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and current Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti.
“Both of them [Wenger and Ancelotti] want to play football, to get forward the quickest way but also keep the ball,” he said.
“As people, they are really patient. They don’t say a lot but when they do, it’s with a lot of wisdom. All managers are different. Some have a temper and give you the hot treatment, these two are calm and collected.”