The departure of energetic Senegalese defensive midfielder Idrissa Gueye to PSG was always going to be a blow to Everton. However, the midfielder’s departure was not a surprise as the French club also saw bids for the Gueye rejected in last winter transfer window.
When Gueye left, it was absolutely essential that the Toffees recruited a replacement. Earlier summer signing Fabian Delph is a different type of player, as Toffees boss Marco Silva pointed out at the time of signing.
Gbamin is Gueye’s replacement
However, the Merseysider’s have now gone out and brought in a replacement for Senegalese star in the shape of Ivory Coast international Jean-Philippe Gbamin. The 23-year-old has arrived on Merseyside From Mainz for an undisclosed fee, reported to be in the region of £25million.
The former-Lens star can play both in the centre of defence and midfield. He is highly-rated, having also previously been linked with moves to Liverpool and Wolves in the past.
Gbamin is more of a physically imposing player in the centre of midfield. Although not necessary for a defensive midfielder he is regarded as a more effective player at going forward than his Senegalese predecessor. He does still like a tackle and is combative, two attributes essential for a defensive midfielder.
The Ivorian still has time to improve and will likely need time to adapt to life in a new country and at a new club. However, he seems to have all the attributes of a very good Premier League defensive midfielder.
A help to Everton’s defence
Gueye provided an excellent defensive shield in front of the Toffees backline. His loss and the return of centre-back Kurt Zouma to parent club Chelsea could negate all the hard work the coaching staff did last season towards the end of the campaign.
Everton were excellent at the back in the final few months of the season. In fact, they managed eight clean sheets in their last 11 matches of the campaign. Gueye played a big part in that stellar record.
Gbamin will have his work cut out to replace the diminutive midfield maestro. However, his arrival should help protect the backline in a similar way to Gueye. Comparisons will inevitably be drawn. If he is solid and does his job then the midfielder will be a hit at Everton.
Some shrewd business this summer
The arrival of Gbamin, Delph and Andre Gomes, plus the imminent arrival of Moise Kean all look to be very good business from Everton. Dutch director of football Marcel Brands seems to conduct his business in a quiet but effective manner.
He still has a mammoth task on his hands shifting some of the club’s deadwood. However, it seems that if the Toffees can bring another quality centre-back that the team will be as strong, if not stronger than last season in the new campaign. It seems like Brands is not finished in the transfer market. If they can make a few more signings before Thursday’s transfer deadline, then the Toffees certainly have the potential to challenge for a top-six spot next season.
Can Jean-Philippe Gbamin fill the boots of Idrissa Gueye?