Rudi Garcia: Idrissa Gueye can become a “PL Great”

Rudi Garcia believes Everton’s summer signing Idrissa Gueye has the potential to become a Premier League great.

The Senegal international was part of an Aston Villa side which plummeted out of the Premier League with a whimper last season, but his true quality has become much more evident since moving to Goodison Park during the summer transfer window.

Indeed, the Toffees activated Gueye’s release clause to snap him up for just £7.1million and the 27-year-old is already coming good on that modest investment, averaging a division-best 5.1 tackles per match in the Premier League (courtesy of Whoscored.com).

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With him ever-present barring nine minutes against Bournemouth, the fifth-placed Merseysiders have enjoyed a fantastic start to the season, picking up 14 points from seven games.

And former Roma manager Rudi Garcia, who issued Gueye his senior debut during the 2010/11 season whilst in charge of Lille, believes the defensive midfielder has what it takes to become a Premier League great.

Speaking exclusively to Squawka, he said; “I’m not surprised by how well he is doing. Idrissa was very young when he was at Lille but he already had many qualities – and one of them was a very strong ambition.

“Even then he was a good, strong midfielder with a big capacity to run, a fantastic fighter and a very good man. The way to become a Premier League great is long and hard. But Idrissa is a hard worker so he will improve his level every season. I am sure of that.”

Garcia continued; “He was training and playing at the maximum. So I took him with the first team. He is always listening and is a very clever player.

“He was a young player then just discovering the professional world. But with his confidence and the help of the big players, he was one of our most important substitutes in that fantastic winning season.

“I remember a goal he scored in the Europa League against PSV Eindhoven with an amazing long distance kick. He was special.”