Everton midfielders face new challenge

While we continue to wait for the official announcement by Everton of new midfield signings Allan, James Rodriguez and Abdoulaye Doucoure, what will their arrival mean for the other Blues midfielders?

If indeed these three do finally walk through the door at Finch Farm and become Everton players, then it will put renewed pressure on the existing midfielders at Goodison Park.

Several are probably leaving the club anyway over the course of the next few weeks, at least if any of the current transfer rumours are correct.

Let’s say though that players like Tom Davies, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Theo Walcott, Yanick Bolaise and Bernard don’t all leave, then where do these new signings leave them?

For all of the above players, I doubt any of them will be starting with any regularity next season, if they stay at Goodison Park, so if they can get moves away that’s probably in their best interests, as well as the club’s.

I would think it’s guaranteed all three of these new arrivals will go straight into the first team. It’s certain Allan and Rodriguez will and so I imagine will Doucoure.

Neither Davies, Sigurdsson or say Walcott have done enough in recent seasons, to make Evertonians believe they will be able to respond to the newcomers and raise their game when these new players join.

I would hope that the Toffees will be able to get shot of at least two or three of these players before the transfer window closes but we will see.

One player for whom these new signings does potentially have a very significant impact, is Jean-Philippe Gbamin.

The Ivory Coast player has had such a wretched time with injuries since his move to Everton, that regardless of anything else, let’s hope he can recover full health for his own wellbeing.

If he can, then he will be facing unexpected competition for a place in the midfield, where he had been bought to replace Gueye last summer. Gbamin can also play centre-back though so he should still have a significant role to play in the team there.

Another player for whom these arrivals should be particularly important, is Andre Gomes. As we have said many times before, the Portuguese midfielder has struggled to find his best form, ever since Idrissa Gueye left the Toffees for PSG last summer.

Without the tackling, energy, workrate and defensive cover that Gueye offered, Gomes was forced to do a lot more of this spadework. He generally did it badly and this hugely blunted his effectiveness as an attacking player.

Then he suffered a very serious injury against Tottenham back in November last year. Although he came back extraordinarily quickly, he wasn’t even the same player we had seen before his injury.

Now, especially with the arrival of combative Brazilian Allan, Gomes will be hopefully freed from defensive duties to concentrate on what he can best offer to the Blues team.

That is to use his technical ability on the ball, his range of passing and his willingness to run with the ball and commit defenders. We haven’t seen anything like enough of this since Gueye left.

Hopefully having Allan and Doucoure, with his box-to-box commitment and forward runs alongside him, will now enable him to focus on what he can best offer to Everton.

If he can and if he dovetails with his new teammates, then the Blues will surely be able to benefit from the improved flair and creative quality he should offer.