Everton stood strong throughout January and remarkably denied PSG the chance of signing their midfielder Idrissa Gueye.
This would have pleased all of the Everton fans, players and manager Marco Silva, as the Senegalese is one of the most important players to Everton.
But one player that will be breathing the greatest sigh of relief is his midfield partner André Gomes.
The Portuguese arrived at Goodison Park in the summer on loan from Barcelona. He had fallen out of favour at the Nou Camp and needed to revive his career and Everton look to be a good place. The Toffees are clearly a step or two below the Spanish giants but they are nonetheless a decent team in which Gomes could display his talents.
Despite a slow start, the 25-year-old has clicked into gear over the last few months in blue. He is the heartbeat of the Everton team in the centre of the field, dictating the pace and moving attack to defence with consummate ease. He may not score a lot of goals and may not even get a lot of assists but there is no doubting that the likes of Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurðsson would not be as successful at the top end of the pitch had they not had Gomes behind them. The Portuguese’s passing range and temperament are second to none at Goodison Park.
However, in order for Gomes to thrive, he largely relies on the industry and defensive capabilities of Gueye in the midfield. Had his partner left this January, he would have suddenly looked very exposed for Everton. Tom Davies would be the likely man to replace him in the midfield with Morgan Schneiderlin out of favour under the manager, but the Englishman certainly doesn’t make the impact that the 29-year-old Gueye does. This was shown when Everton played Tottenham at Goodison Park and they simply had no backbone in midfield and were, in truth, lucky to only concede six goals.
But if Gueye had left, suddenly that would have put Gomes’ entire career in jeopardy. He would have no longer had the platform to impress in order to usher a return back to Barcelona or attract a bigger club than Everton to make a move for him at the end of the season.
Of course, Gueye remaining at Everton is big, but the player that is set to benefit the most is undoubtedly Gomes.
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