Everton have confirmed the signing of former midfielder Idrissa Gueye, popularly known as Gana.
The soon-to-be 33-year-old has signed a two-year contract to become Everton’s seventh signing of the summer and second midfielder in an area that has been shorn of Fabian Delph and the on-loan Donny van de Beek from last season, with question marks continuing to swirl over the futures of Andre Gomes, Jean-Philippe Gbamin and even Allan.
The fee is undisclosed but is rumoured to be considerably less than the £29m the Blues had gotten for him when he left in the summer of 2019, three years after joining the club from Aston Villa. Having spent time in France before Villa, PSG was a dream transfer for the player, with the Blues not standing in his way as he pursued his goal of playing in the Champions League with an altogether higher level of player in the diamond-studded Paris squad.
The move has taken over a month to materialize after the clubs had reached an agreement and Everton had agreed terms with the player, with Gana’’s camp and PSG going back and forth on his release paperwork. However, with the transfer deadline now impending, the transfer has finally gone through.
Gana had previously played for Everton 107 times, and in his three years at PSG the durable midfielder made a further 111 appearances, scoring seven goals mostly from distance along with six assists.
Speaking about his move, Gueye said -
“There is no better feeling than coming back home. I am very happy to be here at Everton again, to help and to work hard. I’ll give my soul to this team.
“Coming back here was important to me because I feel like I’m in my home. I’ve followed the team every week and watched how they play. For me, there is no better place than Everton, so that’s why I chose to come back here.
“There is also a great atmosphere at the stadium and everyone here is like a family. I felt very, very good when I was here [the first time] and even when I went to Paris, I kept in touch with some of the players here and continued to support the team.
“For me, it’s special. I told PSG if I am going to leave it will be for one team — and that was Everton.
“It was not a difficult decision for me because I love this club. That’s why I had to come home. It’s a pleasure for me to be back and hopefully we will have a good season because we have to go and try to achieve our goals.”
Director of Football, Kevin Thelwell, said -
“Idrissa is a player we were all keen to bring back to the club he calls home and our chairman has worked tirelessly over recent weeks to make that happen and to get this important deal done.
Idrissa has showed in his previous three years at the club how important he is, and we have no doubt he will be a key part of our team again and provide strong competition in our midfield.”
Toffees manager Frank Lampard added -
“We are delighted to add a player of Idrissa’s quality and experience to the squad. We have been eager to strengthen our midfield options and his attributes will undoubtedly benefit the squad.
“Idrissa has played at the highest level of football. Evertonians know all about his tireless work rate and the value he brings to a team, and we are looking forward to him bringing all of that now he’s back at the club.”
The Toffees desperate need for a defensive midfielder has gotten to a serious point now just a few weeks into the new season. While at his age Gueye is not the long-term solution nor is he the tailor-made fit for the position, it does give Lampard another tool to wield even as he switches things around and keeps formations fluid.
Welcome back Gana!