It seems like Idrissa Gana Gueye is keen on a move to Paris Saint-Germain – and who can blame him?
But there are issues Everton need to resolve before sanctioning a move: the first is obtaining a reasonable fee for the player, and the second is to replace him with a younger model.
In the current market, PSG are going to have to stump up at least £30 million to test Everton’s resolve, but finding a top-quality replacement for that fee will prove challenging.
Unless, that is, the Blues already have the perfect replacement on our books…
22-year-old Joe Williams, currently on loan at Bolton Wanderers, is an all-action, tough-tackling, ball-playing midfielder who has impressed immensely over the past 18 months in the Championship.
What’s more, Everton inserted a recall option before they sent him out on his season long loan.
So, could he be the ready-made no-cost replacement for Gueye?
Afterall, Gueye is the top tackler in the Premier League, but nobody has completed more tackles per 90 minutes than Joe Williams in the Championship this season.
Rumour has it that Marco Silva was keen on the youngster during pre-season, only for a muscle injury to curtail his playing opportunities and show what he’s really made of.
And while the Liverpool-born midfielder has again spent the last few weeks nursing a thigh injury, he could be exactly the player Everton are screaming out for right now: a hungry young player that certainly isn’t scared to put a foot in (as you can see from this horrific challenge he put in during the mini Derby a few years ago below).
Such a move could also prove to be a real statement of intent from Marco Silva and Marcel Brands.
Let’s not forget that Brands was brought in following the impressive work he did at PSV, which largely revolved around developing young players and bringing them into the first team fold.
The average age of the Everton squad has been brought down dramatically over the past six months, but this has largely been through the purchasing strategy rather than bringing through academy players – with Davies, Kenny, Dowell and Beningime (who also plays in the same position), all struggling for game time.
Plus, let’s face it: Everton have little to play for this season. So why not turn this cause of pain into an opportunity and blood in some academy players to see if they can truly cut it at Premier League level. Sam Allardyce had the same opportunity last year, but instead opted to grind out results with established players – which eventually cost him his job.
Marco Silva needs to switch things up or his position, too, will come under further scrutiny. It’s time to be brave and take a chance, the kids are alright.
p.s. the lad can also do this…