Everton have opened talks with Super Eagles star midfielder Alex Iwobi over a new contract.
According to the ECHO discussions are at an early stage, but the Blues are keen to tie down Iwobi, who has grown to become an integral part of the squad under Frank Lampard.
The 26-year-old has been one of the most impressive players of the opening seven games of the Premier League season – even though he has been used in an unfamiliar central midfield role.
Talks with Iwobi come with Everton also in discussions with Jordan Pickford and Anthony Gordon over new contracts, as reported by the ECHO this week.
Iwobi is under contract until 2024 but Everton are looking to secure his future at Goodison Park following a dramatic rise in his importance over the last six months.
Iwobi’s attitude and versatility has been key, with the former Arsenal man kickstarting his progress with the dramatic 99th-minute winner over Newcastle United in March.
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He then played a vital role in the final stages of the relegation battle while operating as a right wing back.
Injuries led to him being moved into central midfield for the final friendly of Everton’s pre-season, against Dynamo Kyiv.
Such has been his form in that position he has remained there despite the return to fitness of other central midfielders and several signings boosting Lampard’s options in that position.
Iwobi created Neal Maupay’s winner against West Ham United on Sunday.
Lampard has been crucial to Iwobi’s resurgence, as has assistant manager Joe Edwards, while the red card he received for Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations in January also led to reflection.
The former Arsenal player is part of Jose Peseiro’s 25-man squad for this month’s friendly game against Algeria in Oran.
He missed the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualify with the Black Stars of Ghana due to suspension.