Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Update On Everton’s Pursuit Of Ligue 1 Defender This Summer: What Will He Bring To Goodison Park?

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Abhinab Ghosh
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.

In a recent print edition, France Football has provided an update on Everton‘s pursuit of LOSC Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhães this summer. The French outlet has stated that even though Lille have already held discussions with Napoli, yet it is believed that the Brazilian defender is waiting to hear proposals from Premier League teams including both the Toffees and Chelsea (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness). It has also been claimed that the Ligue 1 outfit should net about €25m in transfer fees for their prized asset which might help them cope with the financial crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gabriel’s Impressive Form In French Football Last Season

The 22-year-old enjoyed a brilliant season at the Stade Pierre Mauroy after producing a string of commanding displays at the heart of Christophe Galtier’s defence. He had made 34 appearances for the French club in the previous campaign, scoring one goal and picking up six yellow cards in the process across all competitions.

Gabriel has been in a decent run of form for Lille as evidenced by his average of 1.8 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 3.3 clearances per 90 minutes in the Ligue 1 and the UEFA Champions League last season. He has also been quite tidy with his ball-distribution after completing 82.2% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

The Sao Paulo born talent has represented Brazil at the Under-20 level but is still waiting to get his first senior call-up for his country. If Gabriel can show some signs of progress next season, then he should have a good shot at earning a few international caps for his nation in the years to come.

Update on Everton's pursuit of Gabriel Magalhães who is seen jumping over Chelsea's Willian in the picture
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)

What Will The Lille Youngster Bring To Goodison Park?

Gabriel lacks pace, but he more than makes up for it through his dominance in the air. The Brazilian starlet excels at winning a lot of aerial duels as he can use his upper-body strength to overpower the opposition at both ends of the field. The ex-Troyes prospect has also transformed himself into a reliable defender at the back as he can pull off some vital interceptions and last-gasp clearances for his side. However, the jury is still out on whether the Ligue 1 whizkid can cope with the high intensity of English football if he decides to make a switch to the Premier League this summer.

A young centre-back of Gabriel’s quality and potential will undoubtedly be an intelligent signing for the Toffees in the long-run as they look to build a strong squad capable of challenging for silverware in the coming seasons. He will not only add more quality to Carlo Ancelotti’s backline but also improve the overall depth of his squad.

Furthermore, the Brazilian sensation will increase competition for the likes of Michael Keane, Mason Holgate and Yerry Mina in the race to secure a regular starting spot at Goodison Park in the upcoming campaign. All in all, recruiting Gabriel could turn out to be a clever piece of business for the Merseyside outfit before the start of the new season.

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