Everton’s lack of scoring prowess has stolen the headlines as Marco Silva‘s men have wasted a wonderful opportunity to start the season off in style.
But it’s been easy to forget that the Toffees have been without the man they bought to help offset the loss of Idrissa Gana Gueye, perhaps their best player two years running, in the form of Jean-Philippe Gbamin.
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The Ivorian cost a reported $30 million this summer when he arrived from Mainz, and Everton won his only start before an injury sent him to the sidelines.
Gbamin has not suitably improved, and is now set for another three months on the sidelines thanks to surgery on his hamstring.
It’s a sock to the gut for a team already wallowing in misfortune. Now sitting 18th, as close to 20th as they are to 10th, it’s difficult to imagine things getting much worse for a team that held so much promise.
Everton hosts West Ham to kickoff the Premier League weekend at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday.
Everton feels its found its replacement for Idrissa Gana Gueye, who left for Paris Saint-Germain.
The man’s name is Jean-Philippe Gbamin, a 23-year-old from Mainz who can also play center back and cost the Toffees about $7 million less than the $36.5 PSG paid for Gueye.
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“I’m excited because Everton is a great club here in England with a big history and ambition so I didn’t think for more than a moment – I wanted to come here,” Gbamin said.
“I like to go in the duels. I like to run a lot and tackle. I also pass good and have a good transition. All the rest, the fans will see. I will give everything on the pitch.”
He chipped in two goals and an assist in 31 matches last season, and is a steady passer who ranked near the top of Mainz’s leaders last season.
A French youth international, Gbamin has now been capped nine times by the Ivory Coast. He had an assist in three appearances during Les Elephants‘ quarterfinal run at the Africa Cup of Nations.