Everton have been without Idrissa Gueye for the last two games against Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, and the results have been abysmal without the elite ballwinner in midfield. Both sides are in a good run of form right now so Gana wouldn’t necessarily have changed the result, but it has certainly shown Marcel Brands and Marco Silva that an aggressive defensive midfielder certainly needs to be on their shopping list, either for January or the summer after.
Gueye has his detractors due to his limitations, especially when the Blues have possession. His passing range is limited and inaccurate, and he doesn’t contribute much offensively but he certainly allows skill players like Andre Gomes and Gylfi Sigurdsson to operate with much more freedom in the middle of the park.
Enter Tanguy Ndombele.
Long considered one of the best upcoming talents at the defensive midfielder, the Frenchman has been linked with just about every top club in Europe in recent years. Currently plying his trade at Olympique Lyonnais in the French Ligue 1, Ndombele is only 21 but has already picked up four international caps for the World Cup-winning France side.
The right-footed midfielder joined Lyon on loan from SC Amiens last season, before making the transfer permanent at the beginning of this season for a steal at only €8 million. In 23 games this season he has picked up two goals and five assists, with both strikes coming in the Champions League. Along with teammate Houssem Aouar, the pair have quickly become the most sought after midfielders in the game.
Speaking to the Express, Ndombele’s agent Duro Ivanisevic was adamant that the player would not move in this upcoming transfer window in a week, but left the door open to a transfer in summer for what would be an astronomical fee.
“The club is asking for €80m (£72m). Although negotiating it could be lowered and a different agreement can be reached.
“The Serie A is a championship that Ndombele could like. In January he will not move from the OL, but in the future they are situations that are contemplated.”
Manchester United are expected to be contenders for the player’s signature under new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with Manchester City and Napoli also recently mentioned along with Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
With Morgan Schneiderlin on is way out at the Blues and Beni Baningime yet to make a mark after recovering from a long-term injury, it’ll be interesting to see if Everton do let Idrissa Gueye leave in January considering the interest from Paris St. Germain.
PSG will be losing Adrien Rabiot in the summer to a free transfer to Barcelona, and are already looking to bolster their midfield. The Toffees meanwhile will be loathe to see their season spiral into meaninglessness should Gana leave, despite his age and limited attacking ability.
It seems if PSG’s interest in Gueye is indeed genuine, and the same for the Blues with Ndombele, then the best for all parties would be to make the deal happen in the summer.