Following quotes that suggest Marco Silva is considering the option of deploying Idrissa Gueye in a more advanced role, a number of concerns should have immediately arisen for Everton fans – they only need to look at Maurizio Sarri’s use of N’Golo Kante to see that this experiment isn’t going to work.
Silva said: “In our third goal against Cardiff, not just because he carried the ball, but the way he took out the first player, it was really, really good. And the assist, the pass, was very good also.
“The pass we can see from Gana [often]. But that dribble he made is not something that often comes from him, because of the position he plays.
“[We want him to be] playing forward more in some moments because he has this quality and it can help us even more.”
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Now, this could be a dangerous thought from the Toffees boss. As aforesaid, Sarri has been using Kante in a more advanced role all season, a man who was, and still is, arguably considered to be the best ball-winning midfielder in Europe, in order to accommodate Jorginho.
You only have to look at how isolated the Italian looks without Kante alongside him – and the consequential hate he has been getting from Blues supporters – to see that players like the Frenchman and Gueye can make their midfield partner look better than they are. (See Danny Drinkwater in Leicester’s title-winning campaign also).
At Goodison Park, Silva often uses Andre Gomes in a midfield two with Gueye, a man who isn’t too strong defensively, but can focus on what he is good at with the Senegalese international doing the dirty work alongside him.
Silva cited Gueye’s ability to carry the ball forward and beat his man as reason to perhaps use him further forward, but the former Aston Villa man’s tendency to do this from a deeper role enables the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Bernard to do so in the vital areas within the final third.
If Sarri’s ‘Kante-Jorginho’ experiment had turned out as a success, then there is perhaps reason for Silva to follow suit and do the same given just how similar Kante and Gueye are as players.
However, it has failed. If Silva sleepwalks into the same mistake after one decent move from Gueye against Cardiff, it would be a very foolish decision.