Everton are close to making Aston Villa’s defensive midfielder Idrissa Gueye their second signing of the summer. According to ESPN FC, Gueye is in Merseyside to take a medical ahead of the move.
On Tuesday, it was reported that the Toffees had met the release clause in Gueye’s contract, costing themselves just north of £7 million, a relative bargain in today’s market. However, there looked to be competition from a few teams in France for Gueye’s signature. But it seems his preference is to stay in England’s top flight after Villa were relegated to the Championship back in May.
The 26-year-old will slot into the center of Everton’s midfield, competing for playing time with the likes of Mo Besic, Gareth Barry and James McCarthy.
It’s possible the new boy is an immediate starter for the Blues. As has been said previously, Gueye was a bright spot on an appalling Villa team, comparing favorably to former Leicester City star and recent Chelsea signing N’Golo Kante.
There are two schools of thought on what this news means going forward:
- Everton are no longer looking at players like Axel Witsel or William Carvalho; two men that would fill a similar role as Gueye but would cost three or four times as much to bring in.
- This is just the beginning of a midfield overhaul. Barry is 35 years old. McCarthy’s form has slipped over the last year. Besic runs hot and cold and has an injury history. New blood is needed.
The smart money is on the former opinion. Everton are still (supposedly) in search of help at center back, right back, left wing, striker and possibly goalkeeper. So, having already secured a proven Premier League defensive midfielder, it would seem wise to spend elsewhere.
Gueye would be new manager Ronald Koeman’s second signing, joining former Fulham goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg. This has not been the summer of big spending like many supporters had envisioned, but that may soon change.