Three takeaways from this weekend’s Premier League action

By on September 19, 2016

Iwobi has the potential to play vital role for Arsenal

Arsene Wenger has endeavored to limit grueling preseason trips abroad, but caved this summer and traveled to the United States to face the MLS All-Stars in July. He utilized that match as an opportunity to solidify his starting lineup for their Premier League opener, but also introduced young guns such as Alex Iwobi to let them make their case for first-team playing opportunities this season.

Iwobi capitalized on his preseason opportunities to springboard into Arsenal’s starting lineup, and highlighted his phenomenal talent in a 4-1 victory over Hull City this weekend. The twenty-year-old striker played a pivotal part in Arsenal’s build-up play throughout the night, using his acute spatial awareness to create chances in seemingly impossible situations.

His low strike deflected off Alexis Sanchez to open the scoring for Arsenal early on and Iwobi also started the play from which Arsenal won a penalty in the fortieth minute, shaking off two defenders with a fake on the edge of the box and slipping the ball wide to Theo Walcott. In the fifty-fifth minute, a superb back-heel put Walcott in behind to assist another goal.

Wenger marveled at his talent after the game, telling Arsenal’s official website: “I started him last year because I’ve seen that there’s something in him that is quality of vision, quality of give and go, of movement. He can break the lines with a pass and individually as well, so there’s a lot in the locker. Overall, he’s only twenty-years-old so you could see that he has gained in confidence now. He can take people on much more and he has gained power as well. It’s interesting what he has done.”

As Iwobi looks set to play a big role for Arsenal up front this year, perhaps the Frenchman now has a clue towards what he might be missing out on by staying at home for preseason.

Slimani fits right in at Leicester

Leicester City have endured a patchy start to the season, but record-signing Islam Slimani rejuvenated the KC Stadium crowd with a brace against Burnley on Saturday night. The Algerian striker scored two headers on his Premier League debut for the Foxes, leading them to a 3-0 home victory.

The Foxes did just fine without such an aerial presence last season, yet Slimani’s introduction added a new facet to Leicester’s attacking lineup after a heavy defeat at the hands of Liverpool suggested their fairy-dust of last season had worn off. Riyad Mahrez dazzled down the right wing and continuously fed dangerous crosses into the box, where Slimani’s power and strength complemented Jamie Vardy’s pace. Many had questioned whether such an expensive signing would fit into Leicester’s Motley Crew of late-bloomers and misfits, but Islami answered those critics on Saturday night.

Everton overdue for a top-five finish

Everton have settled for mediocre mid-table finishes for the past two years, but the Toffees are showing promising early signings of launching another bid for European football under new manager Ronald Koeman this season. A comprehensive 3-1 defeat victory over Middlesborough took them second in the table with a 4-1-0 record, only behind Manchester City.

Although Marteen Stekelenburg made an unfortunate blunder to gift Middlesborough an early lead at Goodison Park, Koeman’s men valiantly rebounded to turn the score on its head. Gareth Barry equalized on the 600th Premier League appearance of his career and Romelu Lukaku and Seamus Coleman also got on the scoreboard. Additionally, Yannick Bolasie impressed and Ross Barkley’s response to repeated calls for improvement from Koeman showcased the young talent’s exceptional maturity and outstanding talent.

About Alex Morgan

Alex Morgan, founder of Football Every Day, lives and breaths football from the West Coast of the United States in California. Aside from founding Football Every Day in January of 2013, Alex has also launched his own journalism career and hopes to help others do the same with FBED. He covers the San Jose Earthquakes as a beat reporter for QuakesTalk.com and his work has also been featured in the BBC's Match of the Day Magazine.