Iwobi Relishing 'Fresh Start' At Everton

Alex Iwobi believes Everton's pre-season camp in the Lake Geneva area was the ideal beginning to a "fresh start" for the Blues.

Sean Dyche's first pre-season as Everton manager stepped up a notch with five days spent in France and Switzerland for intense training sessions and a first friendly fixture, a game the Toffees won 2-1, courtesy of second-half efforts from Katia Kouyate and Neal Maupay.

Iwobi was involved in both of the goals, providing a superb assist for 19-year-old Kouyate, as well as the pass into Francis Okoronkwo, who was then awarded a penalty to allow Maupay to register on the scoresheet.

Reflecting on the week as a whole, Iwobi believes it was time well spent, highlighting the positive team chemistry and spirit currently flowing through the squad.

"It's been tough... of course, it was my first week back," he told "It's been hard, it's been hot, it's been humid - but those conditions will help us for the season.

"It's been good to be back amongst teammates as well. Good vibes, good banter. I've missed it. 

"The chemistry has been very good here and it's nice to be back. The spirit is high amongst us. 

"Obviously, as a team we don't want to be where we were last year. We want to improve and with the players we have, with the quality we have, we should be able to do that. 

"The main things are to remain consistent and have that mental toughness to go again every game.

"It's a clean slate and a fresh start and we're working hard for it. Not just on the pitch but off the pitch we've been bonding well together."

Iwobi featured in all 41 of Everton's competitive games during the course of the 2022/23 campaign, racking up 11 goal involvements (nine assists, two goals) in the process.

He also made three international appearances for Nigeria to take his overall cap tally to 63.

A busy campaign, then, for the 27-year-old, who says he has remained in a good place fitness-wise over the summer break from action.

"I got 70 minutes in the bank [against Stade Nyonnais] but it felt like 90!" he joked. "No, I'm still feeling good. I felt, especially towards the end of the season, I was still fit. I've come back and I still feel fit. I just need to make sure I maintain that, stay injury-free and keep building up.

"It was a good test against a good team. It was our first game and we've got many more to prepare before the season starts. We're feeling good, we got a good result and building the fitness is what we want now.

"It was good to get a win to end the week because I feel like as a team we've worked really hard and it's a small reward for that.

"There's still a long way to go. Everyone is looking very fit and sharp, even the youngsters that have been out here with us. 

"Hopefully it's a promising season ahead."