Everton have four players out at the World Cup whilst the Premier League pauses for the prestigious international tournament, with Amadou Onana, Jordan Pickford, Conor Coady and Idrissa Gana Gueye all representing their respective nations.
Three out of the four named completed their opening fixture yesterday in Qatar and whilst Pickford and Coady will be thrilled with England’s 6-2 thrashing of Iran yesterday afternoon, the same emotions of elation won’t be shared by Gueye who lost 2-0 to the Netherlands.
The Everton midfielder featured in the starting line-up against the talented Dutch team, however, despite an uneventful first half that saw Senegal disciplined in their performance, it quickly unravelled over the latter stages of the second period.
Cody Gakpo opened the scoring for the Netherlands in the 84th minute to give his nation the lead over the current AFCON champions, which was followed up by a late strike from former Everton man Davy Klaassen in the ninth minute of extra time to well and truly bury the hopes of Senegal picking up crucial points in their opening game.
Unfortunately, Gueye’s contributions to the team were poor with the former Paris Saint-Germain star struggling to make his presence known in the centre of the pitch. Overall, he put in a rather lacklustre performance that left him with the lowest SofaScore rating (6.1) in the entire Senegal team.
The £80k-per-week ace lost possession of the ball every 4.3 touches, made 0 tackles and interceptions, as well as losing 87% of his duels and failing in 100% of his attempted crosses in a display that Gueye will be hoping Frank Lampard didn’t watch.
Everton have been struggling in the Premier League with a horrendous run of form that has left them now one point shy of the relegation zone, so the performance from the Senegalese midfielder in the World Cup won’t fill the Toffees boss with confidence as he plans for improved performance when top flight football returns after Christmas.
With that being said, there is still time for Gueye to make a positive impact on his national team as Senegal face Qatar on Friday and the midfielder will be hoping he can repair any damage done by losing to the Netherlands in the upcoming fixture.