Ancelotti tells Iwobi to name his best position

Alex Iwobi of Everton and Carlo Ancelotti, Manager of Everton celebrate following their team's victory in the Premier League match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield on February 20, 2021 in Liverpool, England.

Carlo Ancelotti has urged Alex Iwobi to tell him where he wants to play for Everton.

Iwobi marked his call-up for Nigeria’s fixtures this month with an Instagram post which added the line ‘Hopefully I get to play in my preferred position’.

Although the forward did not mention the Blues, his social media comment came a day following a lacklustre display in their 2-0 defeat against Chelsea.

Ancelotti responded on Friday to the remarks by admitting he is eager for Iwobi to outline his preferred role in the side and willing to facilitate it.

The Champions League-winning coach also highlighted how a similar line of communication paved the way for Andrea Pirlo’s prominence as a midfielder.

“I read the post [and] I want to speak to him, of course,” said Ancelotti.

“I want to know his preferred position because usually I want to put a player on the pitch where they are comfortable to play, not where they are uncomfortable to play.

“If he has an idea of where he prefers to play I have to know, I want to know.

“I would be delighted to know his preferred position and I’ll put him in his preferred position for sure, no doubt.

“I am going to tell him: ‘Tell me, I am your manager, tell me where you want to play’.

“When I thought to put Pirlo as a holding midfielder [at AC Milan] I asked him: ‘Do you like to play there or not?’. ‘Yes’, he said to me, ‘I’d love to play there’ and so I put him there.

“If he (Iwobi) wants to play number 10 or number nine I’ll put him at number 10 or number nine no problem. I can adapt the system.”

Everton head into Saturday’s visit of Burnley with Abdoulaye Doucoure facing between eight and 10 weeks on the sidelines due to a fracture in his foot.

Ancelotti is set to rest James Rodriguez in order for the playmaker to fully recover from a calf injury which has dogged him for most of this season.

He added: “James played really well against Manchester United and Liverpool but he was not 100% fit and had little problems.

“The fact we are going to have really important games until the end of the season, we decided to give him a proper recovery and don’t let him play at 70-80%.

“He has to recover and when he is 100% fit he will play again. We have taken this decision together, we have no problem with the player.

“The player agreed. We don’t want him to play and risk a bigger injury.

“We want to avoid this kind of tightness he has after 45-60 minutes of a game so we have to do a proper recovery with special exercises for him to improve his calf condition.”


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