Everton have reportedly agreed a deal to sell Idrissa Gueye to Paris Saint-Germain for £28million, according to Sky Sports, but selling him will completely ruin the work put in over the past 12 months.
The 29-year-old was an essential component in Marco Silva’s operation and will leave behind a devastating absence at Goodison Park.
The Toffees captured the signature of highly-experienced midfielder Fabian Delph from Manchester City this summer for a fee worth up to £10m – a deal that was processed to replace the imminent departure of Gueye.
The summer of 2018 was extremely successful for Everton; bringing the likes of Richarlison, Yerry Mina and Lucas Digne to the club were signs that the club were slowly assembling an exciting, balanced outfit.
Andre Gomes joined the club on a permanent deal this summer, too, following an impressive loan spell on Merseyside and the partnership formed with Gueye was one of, if not, the best outside the top six.
Gueye provided balance and tenacity to the starting XI. His consistent ability to overturn possession and transition the phase of play from defensive to attack was exceptional – averaging 4.3 tackles and 2.2 interceptions per match in the Premier League exemplified that.
The Senegal midfielder provided a solid defensive structure for Silva, which allowed the creative talent of Richarlison, Bernard and Gylfi Sigurdsson to express their attacking attributes without the concern of having to constantly defend.
Gueye was the springboard. As soon as he recovered possession, the Everton attackers were set to pounce and do damage going forward. He averaged an 84% passing success rate and completed 3.2 long balls per match, which demonstrates his ability to regain/retain possession – the attacking options were already running in behind as soon as the ball was at his feet.
Although Delph is a good, versatile signing, he will find it extremely difficult to fill the gap left by the 29-year-old. Everton were poised to mount a strong challenge to finish in the top seven this season – and still are – but the likely departure of Gueye makes that an exasperating prospect.