Everton have signed Idrissa Gueye from Aston Villa after activating his release clause of $9.3 million.
Gueye, 26, has signed a four-year contract with Ronald Koeman‘s side and he will slot into their engine room for the upcoming Premier League campaign.
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Despite being relegated with Villa last season Gueye was a bright spot for the Midlands giants following his arrival from Lille in Ligue 1 in the summer of 2015.
The Senegalese international broke up play masterfully and only N'Golo Kante had more tackles and interceptions than him across Europe’s top five leagues last season.
Speaking to Everton’s website, Gueye revealed his best qualities after arriving on Merseyside.
“I am a defensive midfield player and I like making passes and also getting forward,” Gueye said. “I have played a season with Aston Villa which was a hard season but I think my style is good for the Premier League. You have to fight every game. All the teams are strong and you have to concentrate all through the game.”
Koeman has been on the hunt for reinforcements since he arrived at Goodison Park and with Gareth Barry ageing in central midfield, plus James McCarthy and Muhamaed Besic having up and down campaigns last season, he needed to strengthen in midfield.
As we saw with his teams at Southampton, the Dutchman loves to play at least one or maybe two true holding midfielders which allows his other three midfielders to push higher up the pitch and support the lone central striker.
Gueye is one of those players that doesn’t stand out but does all of the dirty work and simple things well. With Everton possessing mercurial talents like Ross Barkley, Gerard Deulofeu and Romelu Lukaku, having a player who is talented at winning the ball back and giving it to them is a mouth-watering proposition for Toffees fans.
Everton still need reinforcements in central defense with John Stones likely on his way to Manchester City — Ashley Williams could be announced as an Evertonian soon — but if Koeman can keep Lukaku then his squad is starting to take shape quite nicely ahead of his debut season in charge of the Toffees.