COMMENT By Amir Mir
Everton manager Ronald Koeman is reportedly set to complete his first move for an outfield player in the transfer market with the signing of Aston Villa midfielder Idrissa Gueye.
If a deal does expectedly go through then Everton have arguably purchased one of the signings of the summer, despite the surroundings in which the Villa player has come from.
Gueye, who is affectionately know as ‘Gana’ by Villa supporters, made a £9million switch from France to England last summer and was part of a team that conceded a disappointing 76 goals last term as they perished towards relegation.
Despite his club producing its worst season in their 141-year history, Gueye’s individual stats were mightily impressive. This is a player Koeman can build his new-look Toffees team around.
The Senegal international won 108 tackles last season, only second behind to Premier winning midfielder and former Leicester City player N’Golo Kante who won 125.
Midfield duo Gareth Barry and James McCarthy made 96 and 79 tackles respectively last term, which resulted in the club conceding 55 goals, alongside the rest of the defensive back-line.
This is where former Barcelona defender Koeman would find the balance as he did at his previous club Southampton where they conceded 41 goals, but scored 59 goals, the same amount as the Merseyside club.
He would no doubt use ‘Gana’ as the anchor-man that Everton desperately acquire, as offensively they have enough fire-power to shoot up the table as they have proven with the 18 goals by striker Romelu Lukaku.
The 26-year-old also made an impressive 141 interceptions last term, once again second behind to Kante’s 156, but his interceptions were better than Barry and McCarthy combined who made 53 and 51 interceptions respectively.
There is no doubt that Gueye would have to get used to the change in style at Everton, as they will no doubt push for a possession style game, but with the attacking firepower Everton possess, alongside the balance Koeman is able to acquire then Gueye will no doubt fit the missing jigsaw they desperately need in order to push for that European place.
In other Everton transfer news, Talks are scheduled after the Toffees lodge a reported £46 million bid.