By Danny Wright
Everton director of football Steve Walsh has stated that Idrissa Gueye is better on the ball than N’Golo Kante.
The two midfielders have often been compared to one another, but Walsh was the scout who recommended Leicester sign Kante and brought Gueye to Merseyside after he was relegated with Aston Villa.
Walsh believes that the Senegal international struggled a lot in a very poor team last season but saw the qualities that he could bring to Ronald Koeman’s side.
“He was playing with a really poor back four and being bypassed a lot when the ball went the other way. But I remember thinking, ‘If I get the chance . . . this guy is better than he’s showing’,” said Walsh to the Times about Gueye’s time at Villa.
“He’s very grounded, gets whacked, gets up, gets around people when they have the ball — very much like Kante. I’d say his use of the ball is slightly better, even if he’s not quite as good at retrieving.”
According to WhoScored, Gueye successfully makes one more tackle than Kante averages every match and the two players’ energetic, box-to-box style of play is what has led people to compare the duo.
The 27-year-old has attempted more tackles per game than any other Premier League player with more than 15 appearances this season.
He tries to make an average of 6.3 tackles in each match, which is one more than Jordan Henderson makes who is second in the rankings.
The former Lille midfielder has made 24 appearances in all competitions so far in his debut season for the Toffees.
He scored his first goal for the club in the 2-0 victory over Sunderland in February.
N’Golo Kante was named Premier League Player of the Year at the 2017 London Football Awards last week.
In other Everton news, the club will reportedly swoop for a Serie A goal machine.