Everton are quietly accumulating a number of economical signings, with French under-21 international Magaye Gueye looking set to be the fourth of the summer. Jermaine Beckford, Jan Mucha and Joao Silva have already been confirmed, but who the hell, exactly, is this curious Gueye creature?
Scoring for France against England during last summer’s European Under-19 Championship semi-final (it’s alright, we won anyway), he duly attracted the attention of British scouts. Since then the nippy striker has progressed to the under-21 side and, at 19-years-old, looks a promising player.
Born in France, and of Senegalese decent, Gueye’s youth was spent with local side US Lognes in the Parisian suburbs, before joining the RC Strasbourg ranks in his early teens. He developed swiftly through the youth system, before featuring sporadically in the first-team during the final stages of the 2008/09 season. But his real break came last season. Competing in Ligue 2, he scored nine goals from 17 league starts last season, demonstrating aplomb in front of goal, athleticism versatility (given his ability to also play further out wide) and possessing remarkable pace. Though Strasbourg suffered relegation, thus conveniently reducing Magaye’s fee, he impressed on a personal level.
However, the above stats regarding league starts do – whilst indicating a sturdy goal scoring ratio – implicitly indicate a further issue given the irregularity of league starts. This was largely attributed to a number of injury niggles and so he could be gamble. Nevertheless, it is still a relatively cheap one (thought to be around €1.4million) for a player targeted by a plethora of other clubs; apparently including Sunderland, Birmingham, Bolton and Lyon. If he continues to develop at his current rate, and can shake off early injury concerns, he could certainly be a dynamic and dangerous asset for the long-term.
Playing plays primarily as a striker – though adequately adept at on either wing owing to his speed – he would, for now, likely be another forward on the Goodison periphery. With Beckford and Silva already added to the books, it perhaps indicates an uncertain future for the likes of James Vaughn.
The deal has yet to be finalised, though it is thought to be done so this week (by Thursday), before Everton embark on their Australian pre-season tour.
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