Everton supporters have been in high spirits in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side get back to winning ways in the Premier League courtesy of a 2-0 success over in-form Brighton at Goodison Park last time out.
Sam Allardyce’s men went into their clash with the Seagulls having lost each of their previous league games at Watford and Burnley, results which just about kept relegation in the minds of some of our resident Toffees fans. Yet the Merseysiders all but banished any lingering doubts on Saturday as a Gaeten Bong own goal alongside Cenk Tosun’s first goal at Goodison Park sealed a comfortable victory for Allardyce’s side, thus moving them up into the top half of the Premier League and ten points clear of danger.
Subsequently, there have been many upbeat Evertonians in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are hoping their team can take Saturday’s momentum into their trip to Stoke City this weekend, as they seek to put an end to their miserable away record.
And many of those Toffees fans lining up at the bar have been discussing who Allardyce should bring into the side at the expense of injured Gylfi Sigurdsson, as the Merseyside outfit seek just a second away victory of the campaign.
And many feel that £16.2 million-rated midfielder Idrissa Gueye (as per Transfermarkt) simply has to return to the starting eleven at the bet365 Stadium, thus allowing Wayne Rooney to slot into the number ten role where he had much success in the early phase of the season.
Ultimately, Senegal international Gueye is probably the best central midfielder at Everton, with the 28-year-old one of the best in the Premier League when it comes to tackles (only Gareth Barry has completed more), while he has made more interceptions than any other Toffees player this term (48).
Thus, the midfielder has an excellent reading of the game and offers the perfect balance between defence and attack, with Gueye able to control a match from the middle of the park, at the same time getting on the ball and helping launch attacks.
And against a Stoke side in dire need of the points at the bottom of the table, and likely looking at Saturday’s game as an opportunity to get a much-needed victory, it is imperative that Everton win the midfield battle – Gueye can help them to do that.
Also, bringing Gueye into the two in front of the back four alongside Tom Davies would give Rooney greater license to create in the number ten role, vacated by the injured Sigurdsson.
As per Transfermarkt, the 32-year-old has scored four of his ten Premier League goals and laid on one of his two assists in the attacking midfield role, thus suggesting that the Toffees could well reap the rewards from moving the former England captain further forward against the Potters.
And with Paul Lambert’s men having the second worst defensive record in the division ahead of this weekend’s encounter, Rooney could run the show from that number ten role, and with Tosun seemingly finding form after a tough start at Everton, the two could cause serious problems for the Stoke rearguard.
Many Everton fans will be hoping that Davy Klaassen gets an opportunity in Sigurdsson’s absence, with Tosun’s recent resurgence giving some hope that the Dutchman could follow suit, but he simply hasn’t done enough just yet to warrant a start in the number ten role ahead of Rooney.
As such, Allardyce must bring Gueye back into the side at the bet365 Stadium, not just to give his side a better chance of winning the midfield battle, but also to allow Rooney to play slightly further forward in Sigurdsson’s absence.
Everton fans… what do you think? Let us know!