Injury to £34 million man leaves Everton in grim state in relegation battle

Everton (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images) /

Everton exited the FA Cup in the third round as they lost 3-1 to Manchester United at Old Trafford. The loss means that Everton have now won only once in past 12 games, putting a lot of pressure on Frank Lampard. What will come as another major blow is that Alex Iwobi has suffered a ligament injury.

It never rains but it pours. Everton and Lampard seem to be stuck in a matrix of instability and bad luck. Firstly, pressure is piling on Lampard’s head as another loss has surely increased the risk of getting sacked. In fact, the English manager is the bookmakers’ favourite to get sacked.

Despite the 3-1 scoreline, the Toffees looked spirited and were solid, coming back twice from behind, although their second goal was ruled out for offside. After the miserable 4-1 loss to Brighton, fans wanted to see a fighting performance and Lampard’s men did fight but there was simply way too much difference in quality.

With the Toffees now out of both cup competitions, their only focus must be to survive the relegation battle for second season running. The Blues sit 18th with 15 points in 18 games and will now face Southampton, who are plum last in the table.

Everton midfielder Alex Iwobi injury news

However, the survival battle might have just gotten a little tougher as Everton’s creative engine in midfield, Iwobi, suffered a ligament injury and could face weeks on the sidelines. Hands down, Iwobi has been one of the best players this season and has really put his creativity and chance creation to optimal use.

Playing on the left side of the midfield three, the Nigerian has operated with panache and confidence, registering five assists and creating a total of 29 chances for the Toffees. Iwobi’s movement and his determination to drive forward has really been a plus for Lampard’s side.

A lot of attacking play passes through Iwobi and withdrawing him from the team felt like cutting off the heartbeat of the side. Post the game, Lampard confirmed that Iwobi had picked up an ankle ligament injury. It was already looking bad when Iwobi had to be stretchered off following the challenge of United full back Tyler Malacia.

Although, in the post game comments, Lampard was hopeful that the ligament damage isn’t very serious as first feared but still a timeframe can’t be given.

"Ankle ligament damage but hopefully on the lesser side of what we first thought because it looked quite bad at the time because of the awkward fall. We’re hoping it’s not too bad but I can’t give an exact time frame. (via Liverpool World)"

If Iwobi is sidelined for a long time, Everton’s survival battle could be impacted as his presence could be vital in Everton’s bid in staying up.

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How badly will the injury to Alex Iwobi affect Everton?