Marcel Brands can solve a “concerning” Everton issue with a decisive January call on the immediate future of rarely-seen midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin.
While speaking with Football Insider, former Sunderland and Aston Villa striker Darren Bent has claimed that Everton must seek to secure a mid-season loan move for Gbamin in order for the Ivory Coast international to get his career back in gear.
Gbamin has been plagued with injuries since moving to Goodison Park in 2019 for £25million, with the former 1.FSV Mainz 05 ace boasting a mere 135 minutes of action to his name after only two appearances across all competitions.
Carlo Ancelotti is yet to have the £54,441-per-week Marco Silva signing available since succeeding the Portuguese coach with Gbamin having developed a quadriceps injury in training just days after his full Everton debut in August last year and he was forced to have surgery this May after suffering a serious Achilles injury.
Sources close to the player told The Athletic that Silva’s mismanagement of Gbamin’s introduction was the reason behind his injuries, after he ushered the 25-year-old onto the pitch at Crystal Palace following just five training sessions, having given the midfield enforcer additional time off on the back of that year’s Africa Cup of Nations.
Gbamin is finally set to make his return to training at Finch Farm following the November international break, but Bent feels a loan move has to be in the 12-cap star’s immediate future with Everton chiefs said to be plotting such a transfer, per Football Insider.
“They need to somehow get him up to speed,” Bent said. “He was brought in to replace Idrissa Gueye and it just hasn’t worked for him because of injuries. Maybe sending him out on loan, getting him up to the level that they need might be the way forward.
“The problem with Everton this season is that their starting XI, when they’re all fit, is very, very good. The fact is when they haven’t all been there, they’ve really struggled and that’s why, when they started getting injuries, they couldn’t maintain their fantastic start.
“It’s something Carlo Ancelotti needs to address because at the minute, it’s a little bit concerning the way they’re losing games.”
With Everton chiefs alleged to be considering loaning Gbamin out in January so that the Ivorian can get back to playing regular football for the first time in 18-months, their Director of Football Brands has the ideal chance to solve Ancelotti’s “concerning” situation by finding a side willing to give the 25-year-old the chance to play week in, week out.
Only once Gbamin has a good run of minutes under his belt will he ever have the chance to push his way into Ancelotti’s plans, and offer the support in numbers that Bent is adamant the Italian is currently without.
It will be unlikely that, barring an injury for Allan, that Gbamin is able to establish himself at Goodison Park before the winter market opens, with Everton only hopeful that the former Bundesliga sensation will be in a position to play before the year is over.
Allan has been a thriving success since joining Everton in a £21m deal from SSC Napoli this summer, ranking first for ground duels won (51), successful tackles (32), second for blocked shots (4), third for successful dribbles (9) and is the fourth-most fouled player (10) among all at Goodison Park, per SofaScore.
Gbamin, meanwhile, impressed Everton with his efforts for Mainz in the 2018/19 season, when he averaged 57.9 touches, 34.6 accurate passes, 0.7 key balls, 0.9 shots, 1.6 tackles, 1.0 interceptions, 1.1 successful dribbles and 5.3 duels won (3.6 ground, 1.7 aerial) per German top-flight game.
AND in other news, Carlo Ancelotti is urging Everton to sign a “magnificent player” this winter.