Gunners legend, Nwankwo Kanu, has said that his former club Arsenal, made a huge mistake by selling off Alex Iwobi to Everton.
According to Kanu, Arsenal should have held on to him especially knowing full well that they began training him since he was 8.
Iwobi said his byes to the Emirates on deadline day, arriving Merseyside in a £40 million ($49m) deal.
The transfer was impromptu. Everton was motivated to fixate their radar on Iwobi after seeing bids for Wilfried Zaha repeatedly knocked back by Crystal Palace.
Initially, Everton proposed to purchase the player with the sum of £30m ($37m), but the Emirates declined. However, on seeing the transfer window during the final hours, the club accepted to sell Iwobi.
Gunners hierarchy felt the deal was a good shot, with the offer arriving at the end of a window that had seen Arsenal commit to over £140m ($173m) worth of transfers – including a club-record £72m ($89m) fee for Nicolas Pepe.
But Kanu however, is displeased over the decision of the club to make money with the 23-year-old.
In an interview with Goal, he said “I would say they made a mistake, 100 per cent, Why they let him go, I don’t know.
“He’s a boy who, in and out, is Arsenal. He always wanted to do his best for the club. He loves the club, but not only that, he can play football.
“What he brings week in, week out, the fans need to appreciate that.
Kanu held that Iwobi was still young and those are the type of people every club should hold on to, “people who grew up here, who knows everything about the club and wants to die for the club”, he added.
Having said that selling off the player was a shock to the team, he maintained that it was football anyways.
Kanu knows Iwobi to a reasonable level especially with the winger’s fame in the Nigeria national team.
At the time of the transfer, he wished Iwobi the best via his twitter handle saying: “We are proud of you and will continue to support you. Good luck with your new club.”
But Kanu, who during his five years with the Emirates won two league titles during between 1999 and 2004, said that if Iwobi had sought his counsel, he would have told him not to exit the club.
“It was a surprise to everybody because it happened right at the end of the window,” said Kanu. “If I knew earlier, I could have said to him not to go and that it was better for him to stay.
“I would have said that there was no need for him to go because at Arsenal he will still play. He’s that good and he needs to know that.
“I think Arsenal would have been the best place for him because it’s a big club and you want to play in a big club and in Europe. Those are the games you want to play.”