As Everton come to grips with losing arguably their best player in Idrissa Gueye to PSG, the rumor mill for replacements has started to heat up. In recent days we’ve had four names that keep coming up - FSV Mainz 05’s Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Olympique Lyonnais’ Lucas Tousart, OGC Nice’s Adrien Tamèze and Chelsea’s Tiémoué Bakayoko.
France Football assert that Jean-Philippe Gbamin (Mainz) & Stanislav Lobotka (Celta Vigo) are at the top of Everton's shortlist to replace Idrissa Gueye.— Get French Football News (@GFFN) July 29, 2019
This afternoon however we heard another name brought up, and it’s a puzzling one - Stanislav Lobotka of Celta Vigo. While the Slovakian international is a decent enough player, bringing him in for Gana would just be a terrible idea.
Most of the other names linked so far have been of the ball-winning type while Lobotka is better off as a distributor. But not only is Lobotka not nearly as prolific in defensive actions as Gana (which practically no one is) he’s really not as good a ranged passer either.
That’s right, if you were frustrated by perceived passing limitations of Gueye, know that Guye completed 1.3 more long balls per 90 minutes than Lobotka did. Lobotka is a bit more of an active dribbler than Gana, but really his play style is a lot more like a less talented Andre Gomes than it is our Senegalese star.
Stanislav Lobotka, Celta Vigo 18-19. pic.twitter.com/0JideSW01g— StatsBomb (@StatsBomb) February 15, 2019
Interestingly, the Blues were heavily tipped to go after Lobotka in January when it looked like Gana was going to be off to PSG then, but with Gomes now signed permanently, he certainly doesn’t make sense as a good fit for the Blues.
Unless Marco Silva is planning to change how his midfield looks drastically, a player with a high level of physicality will be required to win the ball back and shield the front four, and Lobotka is simply not that player.
As far as unlocking defences that park the bus, that is what Fabian Delph was brought in for this summer to support the duo of Gomes and Gylfi Sigurdsson in the middle.
At 24 years old, Lobotka probably still has some developing to do, but isn’t what anyone would call a world class talent.
This rumour sounds more like his agent jockeying for a new deal or a move, and Celta have every reason to play hard ball here.
We should feel free to file this one away as “will not happen” and focus on other more likely candidates.