With just two games left in the 2020 calendar year, Nigerian duo of Alex Iwobi and Odion Ighalo are running against time in their bid to score their first Premier League goal of the year.
Iwobi has featured 22 times for Everton so far this year while Ighalo has played nine games less but both have found going behind the opponents’ defence an insurmountable task.
While Iwobi looks likely to have the opportunity to end the year with at least a Premier League goal, Ighalo’s case seems closed as he has been frozen out of reckoning at Manchester United, the club he joined on loan from the Chinese Super League in January.
Iwobi has been imperative of late for the Toffees and has provided two assists in 22 Premier League games this year.The former Arsenal player last scored in the competition in September 2019, restoring Everton’s 1-0 lead on 12 minutes after Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Romain Saïss’ ninth minute goal cancelled Richarlison’s fifth minute opener for the Toffees at Goodison Park.
Since that date,Iwobi has featured 34 times in the Premier League without scoring a goal.
For Ighalo, his fairytale run after joining his boyhood club in January ended last season when he scored five times in cup competitions. In the Premier League, the former Watford of England forward has been subbed in all 13 Premier League games he has played for the Red Devils and has neither scored nor provided and assist.
More worrisome for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations top scorer is the fact that he has featured for just nine minutes in the Premier League this season and that was way back in September when Manchester United lost 3-1 at home to Crystal Palace. Since then,the Nigerian has made the matchday squad list just once and has not been listed 11 other times.
With games against Leicester City on Boxing Day and Wolverhampton Wanderers on December 29 on the card for a resurgent United side before the end of the 2020 calendar year, Ighalo’s hopes of even making the squad list look wishful thinking.