3 minute read
10/10/2022 | 01:10pm
Everton were almost forced into the sale of Idrissa Gana Gueye in 2019, with the Senegalese midfielder clearly a cut above the rest of the squad. He had given everything to the Toffees and had more than earned his big move to Paris Saint-Germain.
Despite knocking back a bid in January, he continued to perform and eventually was awarded the club’s Player of the Year alongside Lucas Digne before being sold that summer.
The £30m acquired still represented fine value, especially considering they only had to spend £7.1m for him initially. They had received three fine years of service from the stalwart and sold him on for 322% more than he was initially worth.
The issue that arose however was replacing him, as few offered the speed, intelligence and intensity of the midfielder.
So, when the opportunity came to re-sign him this summer, Frank Lampard could not pass it up. Especially for just £2m.
In total, the money they have spent to acquire the 33-year-old twice still allows them to have made over £20m profit.
In his first stint at Goodison Park, particularly in 2016, he actually made more tackles than N’Golo Kante, the most of anyone over that calendar year in the Premier League.
Now, despite having only played four games this season, he is already beginning to remind Evertonians what they had been missing. He underpins a sensational hard-working midfield, supplemented by the resurgent Alex Iwobi and the hulking Amadou Onana.
He is already averaging 2.3 interceptions, 1.5 tackles and 1.0 clearances per game, marking just how important defensively he is.
It is no surprise that his return has coincided with their opening two wins of the season, and a fine draw at home to Liverpool.
His pedigree is such that journalist James Gheerbrant claimed he should have been the successor to Kante at Leicester City, dubbing him a “Relentless, ubiquitous midfield dynamo.”
To have gotten so much out of him both financially and on the pitch already, Gueye continues to endear himself to Evertonians with each passing week.
It is a testament to his ability that the only thing Everton could do to replace him was to bring him back after a three-year hiatus.