With the transfer deadline now about 36 hours away, Everton are getting very close to making two midfield additions to beef up the squad with a pair of players on opposite ends of their careers.
Idrissa Gueye had previously shot to fame with his tough-tackling, no-nonsense playing style at LOSC Lille and Aston Villa, and when they were relegated the Toffees snatched him up back in the summer of 2016. He proved to be wildly popular on Merseyside for three seasons before switching to Paris St Germain to pursue his dream move of playing for the French giants in the Champions League.
After lifting up several pieces of silverware over three years, he has now been deemed extraneous by PSG and Gana is looking to return to Everton with word that he is about to sign a two-year contract with an option for a third. The Toffees have had an agreement with the French side for some time as well as with the player’s camp regarding a new deal, but the Senegal international had been unable to get his contract terminated with his current side.
With the impending arrivals of Carlos Soler and Fabian Ruiz, it appears PSG are now more amenable to him leaving and Gana is reportedly on Merseyside as of this morning for his medical ahead of a move.
Meanwhile, the Toffees have been one of a handful of clubs chasing after Manchester United youngster James Garner for some time now, and it looks like Everton are about to win the race for him as well.
For a transfer fee that could go up to £15m including add-ons, the Blues will be getting a 21-year-old defensive midfielder who has the potential to become a Gueye replacement down the line. The Toffees have reportedly beaten out Southampton, Leicester City and Nottingham Forest in the race for the United Academy graduate.
The England Under-21 international has made just seven first team appearances for the Red Devils and is not in the plans of new manager Erik ten Hag with United choosing to go a much more high profile route in midfield after bringing in 30-year-old Casemiro from Real Madrid.
Garner has spent the last two seasons out on loan at Watford and Forest, including a starring role in the latter’s campaign as they gained promotion from the Championship last season.
At the Under-23 level he played as the deepest midfielder much like Lewis Warrington is comfortable as the #6, but in last season’s promotion-winning campaign at Forest he was part of the midfield pairing in their 5-2-3 which is very similar to what has become Frank Lampard’s formation of choice. Under Steve Cooper though he became a midfielder with licence to roam in a box-to-box role,
Aside from being committed to the tackle and giving his full effort every time he steps onto the pitch, Garner is very comfortable on the ball in the face of a press and has developed a reputation for being an excellent setpiece taker - nine of his ten assists last season for Forest were from setpieces, with eight of those from corners, with his teammate Ryan Yates calling him one of the best in delivering the ball in the Championship last season.