Idrissa Gueye may have only had one season at Aston Villa, but he certainly made a lasting impression, didn’t he?
In the summer of 2015, Gueye was brought in to help steer Villa away from the relegation zone, having just narrowly missed out on a spot in the relegation zone the season prior. The Senegalese international was one of four relatively young signings from Ligue 1 to be brought in by Tim Sherwood that summer as well as some more experienced players that were renown in the Premier League. Despite the abundance of incomings, Gueye was one of a few faces who could hold their head high at the end of the season.
Gueye was tasked with protecting the Villa backline that season which proved to an impossible task in the end, but his quality and effort were always present. Perhaps most renown for his strikingly impressive ability to regain possession, albeit it will have helped his statistics by being in a side that was frequently on the back foot, but in his one and only season for Villa, Gueye amounted the second most interceptions (131) and the third highest number of tackles won (96) in Europe’s top five league’s.
It will have been such ability in the defensive phase that encouraged Everton to trigger his reported £7.1m release clause to bring Gueye to Goodison Park. It is at the Toffees that the now 29-year-old has continued to develop at the base of Everton’s midfield.
His performances have been so remarkable, in fact, that Gueye attracted interest from Paris Saint-Germain in recent months, particularly in January as reported by SkySports, which was thought to be the reasoning behind Gueye’s transfer request.
Despite him telling L’Equipe via ESPN that he came to England “to improve and aim for a big club later” not long after signing, which is not exactly what you want to hear from a new addition if you are part of the Villa faithful.
Gueye should recognise that not only was Villa a key pathway to how his situation looks now but also that the club played a key role in his development and helped him take to English football so quickly.
Villa fans, what are your standout memories of Gueye? Join the discussion by commenting below…