Andre Gomes can form a great partnership with Idrissa Gana Gueye
It hasn’t been a great start to the season for Everton. Expectations rocketed sky high when Marco Silva took over as the new manager before the start of the season and the Toffees spent heavily in the transfer window to bring in the likes of Richarlison, Yerry Mina, Bernard and Lucas Digne.
However, things haven’t gone according to the script so far for the Merseysiders. Everton completed a triple raid on Spanish giants Barcelona in the summer. While Yerry Mina and Lucas Digne made their move to the Premier League on a permanent basis, Andre Gomes was signed on a season-long loan deal.
Digne has replaced the ageing Leighton Baines as the first-choice left-back this season while Colombian centre-back Mina is yet to make his debut. Gomes was sidelined for the first few games due to pre-sustained injury and the fans had to wait till the 8th game to see a glimpse of their new signing.
Marco Silva has had a tough time finding the settled combination in central midfield this season. Morgan Schneiderlin showed signs of promise in the first couple of games but his lacklustre displays thereafter forced Silva to relegate him to bench duty.
Tom Davies was deployed alongside Idrissa Gana Gueye for a few games but the combination didn’t quite pay the dividends due to lack of understanding.
Quite clearly, Gana Gueye has been the mainstay of Everton’s central midfield this term but they lacked someone who could complement his aggressive nature with that sense of calmness and composure.
And the Euro 2016 winner has proven as to why he is an indispensable component of Everton’s midfield. Playing alongside Gana Gueye in his debut game against Crystal Palace, Gomes shook off any signs of early-season rustiness and looked very assured in possession.
The confidence that he showed with the ball at his feet was quite ironical to the fact that he was playing his first game after almost 6 months.
Gomes is a sensible central midfielder whose style of play is characterized by his impressive range of passing and flawless ball distribution.
He is neither the sort of player who would lunge into challenges to win the ball back in midfield nor is he a major contributor with goals and assists. However, he has shown that he has everything that Everton lacked in central midfield- calmness, composure, ball retention and effective distribution.
In Gana Gueye, Everton have an aggressive central midfield who doesn’t hesitate to stick his foot out when needed. In fact, he averages a staggering 5.4 tackles and 2.4 interceptions per game. However, he is a bit error-prone and has a habit of squandering possession at crucial moments.
Gomes, on the other hand, is exactly of the opposite nature. He likes to hold the ball and excels with his superior distribution skills. He followed up his impressive debut with another solid performance against Manchester United next week. In fact, the Portuguese international averages 53 passes per game with an accuracy percentage of 90.6, which also includes 4 successful long balls per game.
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Suffice to say, he was the missing link in Everton’s midfield and he has shown that he has all the attributes to add that much-needed stability to the midfield. Hence, the fans have every reason to expect brighter things from the midfield duo of Andre Gomes and Idrissa Gana Gueye in the coming days.