Carlo Ancelotti can save Everton a potential £25.5m by unleashing Jean-Philippe Gbamin and seeing the best of what the 25-year-old has in store, amid transfer links with Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot.
Reports by The Athletic last year claimed that those close to the Ivory Coast anchor blamed his struggles on Marco Silva, as the Portuguese coach had rushed him into the side after just one week of pre-season training following an injury for Andre Gomes against the Eagles.
Gbamin could now make his effectively second Everton debut against Roy Hodgson’s Eagles, with Ancelotti pleased with the progress seen from the 25-year-old over the international break.
“Gbamin is in good condition,” the Italian said on Friday. “It is really good news. He trained this week and last week. He did well and he feels comfortable. I think the medical staff did a fantastic job with him. He is ready to play.
“He will put physicality and quality into the squad – and a strong desire to play. It is like we have a new player. We are really pleased to have him back.
“But we have to consider the fact he didn’t play for at least one year and a half. I don’t know if he is going to play on Monday but, for sure, he will be available.”
Gbamin joined Everton in the summer of 2019 as the effective replacement for Idrissa Gueye after the Senegalese star’s £30m move to Paris Saint-Germain, but injuries have thwarted his efforts to establish a role at Goodison Park.
The former Mainz gem could face heightened competition for places in Ancelotti’s engine room next term as well, with the Toffees manager heavily linked with a potential reunion with Rabiot amid doubts over the Frenchman’s future at Juventus.
Rabiot is thought to be available in the off-season for €30m (£25.5m), as the Serie A outfit do not feel he has lived up to the £187,000-per-week contract awarded to him when signed as a free agent following his release by PSG.
However, Gbamin may allow Ancelotti to save those funds to strengthen other areas of his squad in the next transfer window, as The Athletic now claim that the 12-cap Ivorian could convince the club against new transfers if he is able to provide the pace and power he was brought in to offer.
Ancelotti already believes that the 25-year-old has shown “fantastic quality” in training, having been impressed by his skills ahead of a potential debut under the Italian.
“I think he’s an extremely important player for us,” the former Chelsea head coach said, via quotes shared by the Liverpool Echo. “He’s showing fantastic quality in training. His physicality, his technique is the quality of a top midfielder.”
It now remains to be seen whether Gbamin can finally step into Gueye’s shoes and establish a role beside Allan, or if the Brazilian and Abdoulaye Doucoure will have a new face lining up beside them in royal blue next season.