Everton have confirmed the departure of Idrissa Gana Gueye to Paris Saint-Germain, and look to be lining up 1.FSV Mainz 05 midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin or Celta Vigo ace Stanislav Lobotka as the Senegalese’s successor, according to France Football via Sport Witness.
The French publication claimed on Monday that the Blues are looking to acquire another midfield anchor that fits the same mould as Gueye, and are ‘big fans’ of Lobotka for his efforts in La Liga.
Gbamin had already emerged as potential candidate for Director of Football Marcel Brands and boss Marco Silva to consider, with reports in France last week suggesting the Bundesliga star was at the top of our shortlist but would face a €40million (£36.5m) asking price.
Gueye’s move to PSG is believed to have seen the Ligue 1 outfit pay a figure in the region of £30million, with all funds raised likely now being funnelled into acquiring his successor.
The quartet are not mentioned by France Football, which suggests they are not seen as leading candidates at present, with Lobotka instead emerging as a favourite among chiefs at Goodison Park.
A transfer fee has not yet been cited, but a move would see Brands obtain a 24-year-old midfielder whose technical ability is excellent, and can drift into the backline whenever he sees a vacant space that could offer the opponent a chance to strike.
However, his stature has hindered his efficiency without possession in the past, as he is not one to rush into a tackle, which has left him flat-footed at times, although he has gradually ironed out his errors when on the back foot.
In 31 La Liga appearances last season, the Slovakian attempted 53 tackles, winning 30, while recording an average 0.9 interceptions, 0.7 fouls, 0.6 clearances, and 0.5 blocks per ninety minutes.
Lobotka also averaged 1.1 successful dribbles from 1.6 attempts per 90, along with 0.4 shots, 0.3 successful aerial duels, and 0.6 key passes from a total 50.7 passes per 90.
Here’s how these Toffees supporters reacted to reports suggesting Lobotka had joined Gbamin on Brands’ shortlist…