Everton Have ‘Everything In Place’ To Sign This Ligue 1 Defender This Summer: What Will He Bring To Merseyside?

Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Willian (L) vies with Lille's Brazilian defender Gabriel dos Santos Magalhaes during the UEFA Champion's League Group H football match between Chelsea and Lille at Stamford Bridge in London on December 10, 2019. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

According to a recent report by Le 10 Sport (translated by Sport Witness), Everton have ‘everything in place’ to acquire the services of Gabriel Magalhães from LOSC Lille this summer. The same source has also stated that the Toffees have not been afraid to enter negotiations for the Brazilian defender whose profile appeals to Carlo Ancelotti.

Gabriel’s Spectacular Season In The French Top-Flight

The 22-year-old has strung together a decent run of form at Lille after putting in some commanding displays at the heart of Christophe Galtier’s defence. He has been involved in 34 matches for the French side this term, averaging 1.8 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 3.3 clearances per game in the Ligue 1 and the UEFA Champions League (stats via whoscored) so far which highlights his growing influence as part of the Lille backline.

Gabriel has also played for the Brazilian Under-20 side but is yet to make a debut for his nation at the senior level. Hence, maybe a switch to Merseyside this summer could give him the chance to prove his worth at a bigger stage so that he can catch the attention of Brazil manager Tite in the future.

The South American sensation has already got a lot of experience playing for teams such as Avai, Troyes and Dinamo Zagreb II during his career so far. He only managed to break out as a first-team starter at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in the previous campaign and has since taken great strides towards improving his overall game in French football. However, the jury is still out on whether he would be able to cope with the physical nature of the Premier League if he decides to move to England before the start of the new campaign.

Lille’s Brazilian defender Gabriel dos Santos Magalhaes (L) fights for the ball with Lyon’s French forward Moussa Dembele during the French League Cup semifinal football match between Olympique Lyonnais and Lille LOSC at the Groupama stadium in Decines-Charpieu near Lyon, central-eastern France on January 21, 2020. (Photo by JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP via Getty Images)

What Will The Brazilian Youngster Bring To Goodison Park?

Even though Gabriel is more accustomed to playing as a centre-back, he can also act as a defensive lynchpin in midfield if required. He is always willing to get stuck in with a few tackles so that he can win the ball back and set-up his teammates on the break. However, what makes him such an exceptional young defender is his ability to read the danger quickly and making some crucial last-gasp clearances when left exposed at the back. The Brazilian has transformed himself into one of the most accurate passers in Galtier’s first-team after he completed 82.2% of his passes in the Ligue 1 this season (stats via whoscored).

It makes sense for the Merseyside club to get a deal over the line for Gabriel this summer as a quality defender like him will only increase competition for places within their squad. Ancelotti currently has Yerry Mina, Michael Keane and Mason Holgate fighting for a regular place in his first XI. The Italian head coach has done well to get the best out of them since assuming the managerial role at Goodison Park back in December.

However, Everton are in dire need of freshening their defensive options in the summer if they are to have a strong squad capable of challenging on all fronts next season. Therefore, a centre-half of Gabriel’s skillset will be a massive coup for Ancelotti. He will not only add a lot of quality to the Toffees backline but could also offer the Italian boss a chance to be more experimental with his tactics and team selection in the coming years. Gabriel’s presence will allow the Merseyside giants to switch their formation on the go so that they can interchange between playing with four defenders at the back to adopting a three-man backline for specific matches if needed.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.