Everton have finally confirmed the re-signing of Idrissa Gana Gueye as the Senegal midfielder returns to Goodison Park three years after leaving for PSG.
This deal was just about the most ridiculously drawn out and tortuous transfer in the history of the football club. But now this saga is concluded and Gana is an Everton player again.
He could well be joined today by another midfielder as the Toffees’ are strongly linked with a move for Manchester United’s James Garner.
Negotiations are apparently well advanced for this transfer and the Merseyside-born midfielder has been seen at the Blues’ training complex.
Quite apart from the fact these two have names that sound identical and might possibly create confusion, the obvious question is why are Everton signing two more midfielders when the overwhelming need is for more firepower up front?
United’s Garner is certainly a highly-regarded 21-year-old who was outstanding for Nottingham Forest last season as the Midland club gained promotion.
Many Forest fans hoped he might stay at the City Ground, but he returned to Old Trafford hoping to re-ignite his United career.
That doesn’t appear to be possible though, with United boss Eric ten Hag apparently not seeing him in his plans.
He has several other defensive midfield options such as Scott MacTominay, Fred and new addition former Real Madrid star Casimero as well, so is it appears Garner is surplus to requirements.
The Englishman is a talented young player who I’m sure could add another good-quality option for Frank Lampard in the centre of the pitch.
But, is his signing really a priority? I don’t think so, and with Gana having come back now together with the other new midfield signing Amadou Onana, a revitalised Alex Iwobi, Allan, fit again Tom Davies and Abdoulaye Doucoure soon to return, Everton surely have enough in the engine room.
It’s been said so many times before but I’ll say it once again: this team needs more goal-scoring threat in attack!
Tuesday night’s match at Leeds as well as the previous weekend’s trip to Brentford, underlined how little choice and options Lampard has up front.
Both games could have been won had the Toffees’ possessed more goal-scoring power either from the start or off the bench.
Rumours have swirled about this forward and that one for weeks now and yet the only new striker signed has been Neal Maupay.
Due to the ludicrous officiousness of the Premier League Maupay wasn’t able to play at Elland Road this week. Hopefully, he can at last start contributing, ideally beginning with Saturday’s derby.
However, even with Maupay added, I don’t think he is going to be the whole answer as the Frenchman doesn’t score enough goals.
There are stories that the Blues’ are trying to tie up a deal for Valencia winger Samuel Chukwueze. At the moment, there’s no solid evidence that transfer will happen.
Chukwueze doesn’t score many goals either, so I’m really not sure what the value of his signing will be.
The Blues’ already have wide players in Anthony Gordon, Demarai Gray, Dwight McNeil and the still injured Andros Townsend. In addition, Ruben Vinagre can also provide that width.
Everton need an out-and-out striker who can hopefully add 10-15 goals, not another winger.
The other name being mentioned still is Ben Brereton-Diaz. He at least is a proven goal-scorer, albeit in the Championship.
The Toffees’ are supposedly making a very late attempt to sign him, but as usual they’ve left it to the last minute and are apparently well short of Blackburn’s valuation for the Chilean international.
If Everton don’t get another forward in before the window closes who can contribute goals straight away, I will be extremely frustrated with this club.
I think such as outcome is frankly inexcusable given how long they Blues’ have had to get this situation sorted following Richarlison’s departure two months ago.