This observation has to be stated clearly before we proceed any further. Remember how last summer once it became known that Everton had Farhad Moshiri’s millions to spend, it seemed like every available player was being linked to the Blues? It’s happening again, with some discretion since this transfer window most of Everton’s areas of need are clearly known.
In Marco Silva’s 4-3-3 formation, the three midfielders play a pivotal role, literally. Depending on the opposition, he will settle with one holding midfielder shielding the defence, one attacking midfielder to pull the strings going forward, and then the wildcard midfielder. This last role could be another defensive-minded player if playing against a top six side, or a roving destroyer deployed further upfield to win the ball and create transition.
The latest midfielder being mentioned is Senegal’s Badou Ndiaye, full name Papa Alioune Ndiaye. The 27-year-old late bloomer is a product of the Diambars football academy in Senegal, founded by Patrick Vieira and other footballers to help youngsters in need in the town of Saly in Senegal. Ndiaye is in the Lions of Teranga squad for the World Cup alongside his fellow Diambars graduates Everton’s Idrissa Gueye and Anderlecht’s Kara Mbodji, but didn’t play in their win over Poland this weekend.
Having excelled in Norway, he earned a move to Turkey where he impressed as a box-to-box-midfielder for Osmanlispor and Galatasaray. Stoke City dropped a cool £14million for him in January but his strong performances in the middle failed to save the Potters from the drop, and now his manager has indicated he wants out.
Ndiaye played 13 times for Stoke, scoring twice and picking up one assist. A note of caution however, as he picked up five bookings in that short time, which perfectly encapsulates his hustling and bustling physical style. He has 17 international caps with one goal as well.
The Blues already have an all-action hero in the middle, his countryman Idrissa Gueye. If Morgan Schneiderlin were to leave, then Everton need a calm, composed presence in front of the defence that can distribute the ball, which is really neither Senegalese player’s forte.
Galatasaray want him back on loan, while newly-promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers see him as the next N’Golo Kante and are ready to pay £22million for him, and Newcastle have been sniffing around for over a year as well.
This one really doesn’t make sense for the Blues unless we are planning to cash in on Gana (gasp! shock! horror!), which makes even less sense considering the needs everywhere else. Daniel Wass (linked yesterday) is a more sensible option right now.