Everton Launch Enquiry For Ligue 1 Winger: What Will He Add To Ancelotti’s Side At Goodison Park?

Everton launch enquiry for Saint-Etienne winger Denis Bouanga who is celebrating in the picture
Saint-Etienne's Gabonese forward Denis Bouanga (C) reacts next to Saint-Etienne's Peruvian defender Miguel Trauco (L) after scoring during the L1 football match between AS Saint-Etienne and Stade de Reims on February 23, 2020 at the Geoffroy Guichard in Saint-Etienne central France. (Photo by PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP via Getty Images)

According to a recent report by Le10Sport, Everton have launched an enquiry for AS Saint-Etienne wing wizard Denis Bouanga ahead of a potential move during the summer transfer period. The same source has also claimed that both the Toffees and Real Betis are keeping tabs on the Gabonese attacker and are intending to ‘subsequently make a move’ for his signature in this off-season. It is understood that Rennes have already failed to land the talented wide player with their first offer of €12m with Saint-Etienne boss Claude Puel holding out for a €15m fee for Bouanga’s services (via Le10Sport).

Bouanga’s Rise To Prominence In French Football

The Le Mans-born talent has enjoyed a fruitful debut season at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard after producing a series of eye-catching displays on the left side of Puel’s attack. He has banged in 12 goals and provided five assists in 35 matches for the French outfit this term across all competitions which sheds light on his incredible impact going forward.

The 25-year-old has managed to find a run of consistency with his performances so far as evidenced by his average of 2.8 shots, 0.8 key passes and 2.4 dribbles per game in the French top tier and the UEFA Europa League this season. However, Bouanga can be a bit sloppy with his ball-distribution after completing only 71.6% of his attempted passes in league and European football (stats via whoscored).

To his credit, the Saint-Etienne wing wizard has also earned 11 senior caps for the Gabonese national team, netting three goals for his country in the process. Maybe a summer switch to Merseyside could provide him with a more prominent platform to showcase his skills at the highest level and secure a permanent place in Patrice Neveu’s squad in the years to come.

Everton launch enquiry for Saint-Etienne winger Denis Bouanga who is in action in the photo
Saint-Etienne’s Gabonese forward Denis Bouanga (L) fights for the ball with Bordeaux’ French forward Remi Oudin (R) during the French L1 football match between Saint-Etienne (ASSE) and Bordeaux (FCGB) at the Geoffroy Guichard Stadium in Saint-Etienne, central France on March 8, 2020. (Photo by JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP via Getty Images)

What Will The Gabon International Add To Carlo Ancelotti’s Team?

Bouanga can use his quickness and excellent ball-control to complete some dangerous dribbles with the ball out on the wide areas. He can read the game well and get into some promising positions in the final third. The Ligue 1 playmaker has the skillset to cause all sorts of problems for the opposition defenders. The Gabonese winger usually strikes the ball with power and has gradually transformed himself into a lethal finisher in front of goal. He is primarily a left-sided wide player but can also fill in as a right-winger if needed.

His outstanding versatility, coupled with his prolific nature up top, make him a decent target for Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti to consider this summer. Bouanga will not only add more pace and goals to the Toffees attack but also enhance the overall depth of their squad. He will also provide some healthy competition for the likes of Bernard, Richarlison, Alex Iwobi and Theo Walcott in the race to secure a regular starting berth at Goodison Park in the upcoming campaign.

Ancelotti’s current wing options have all struggled to find consistency in terms of goal-scoring and assist-making this season which has increased the Italian head coach’s need to recruit a new wide player during the summer transfer window. Therefore, Bouanga fits the bill perfectly as he ticks all the right boxes in terms of what the Merseyside club are looking for before the start of the new campaign. At 25, he is about to embark upon the prime years of his football career so Ancelotti will do well to lure him away from France.

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.