Idrissa Gana Gueye is a favourite among the Everton fanbase, but the Senegalese superstar isn’t currently acting like one of the club’s top players.
Gueye has continually been a pivotal member of the Everton side since his transfer from Aston Villa in 2016, whether it was under the management of Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce or Marco Silva, but the 29-year-old is now failing to live up to his own hype.
The 5 foot 9 defensive midfielder regularly commanded the heart of the Goodison Park pitch with a tenacious ability to snatch possession back and springboard his side into a quick counter-attack, and even against Manchester City in December his absence was notable.
Gueye was forced to sit out the Etihad affair, that saw the reigning Premier League title holders come out 3-1 winners, as he developed a rare injury and Silva was forced to change his tactics with an extra centre-back brought in, but the midfield appeared to miss the Dakar-born ace more than ever.
Weirdly, however, for as much as they missed Gueye, his recent performances raise questions as to why?
In a 15-minute cameo to mark his return on Boxing Day against Burnley, the 29-year-old only recorded a single tackle and completed just 20% of his passes, then could only account for a combined five tackles in the subsequent two fixtures before Saturday’s FA Cup run-out against Lincoln City.
Check out Neymar’s controversial new haircut for 2019 and Xherdan Shaqiri as you’ve never seen him before in the video below…
It is safe to say that the performance Gueye displayed on Saturday was one of the worst of his Everton careers to date, as he ghosted around for much of the game and a late misplaced pass brought roars of frustration from the stands.
Okay, Lincoln’s tactics did not suit to the Toffees number 17’s ability, as their aerial based attacks nullified Gueye’s effectiveness on the ground, but his severe lack of quality in possession showed the tides are not turning.
Silva should be able to negate this in upcoming ties with Bournemouth, Southampton and Huddersfield, but when his side faces Manchester City on February 23 – their next big best – the former Watford manager will have to rely on the ‘old’ version of Gueye showing up and not the one he currently has to call on.
If the ‘old’ Gueye does not come back soon, Silva will have reason to start to panic as he does not have an alternative to turn to.
A midfield pairing of Andre Gomes and Gylfi Sigurdsson will never work as a complete box-to-box duo against the bigger sides, and Tom Davies or Morgan Schneiderlin are not at the level needed to break up play time and time again.
It is too early to jump into the transfer market to replace the £18million-rated talent that is Gueye, yet, but the summer will mark a watershed moment at Goodison Park, as there are alternatives out there.
Should Silva scout potential Gueye replacements? Let us know in the poll below…