Everton Among Five Clubs Hoping To Land This Ligue 1 Defender: Should Ancelotti Step Up His Efforts?

Manchester United trailing Arsenal in the race to land Gabriel who is in action in the photo
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)

According to a recent print edition of L’Equipe (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness), Everton are among five clubs hoping to land LOSC Lille defender Gabriel Magalhães this summer. The same source has also mentioned that five clubs, including the Toffees, as well as Manchester United and Napoli, have all launched a move worth €25m plus a further €5m in bonus payments.

Gabriel’s Solid Campaign At Lille Last Season

The Sao Paulo-born centre-half enjoyed a decent run of form at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in the previous campaign. He managed to find some consistency with his performances at the heart of Christophe Galtier’s backline. He featured in 34 matches for the French side while scoring one goal for them across all competitions.

Defensively, the 22-year-old has been a dominant presence at the back as he averaged 1.8 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 3.3 clearances per match in the Ligue 1 and the UEFA Champions League last season. He has also been excellent when distributing the ball based on his pass completion rate of 82.2% in league football (stats via whoscored).

Gabriel has represented Brazil at the Under-20 level but is still waiting to make his senior debut for his homeland. Maybe a summer switch to the Premier League could give him a more prominent stage to showcase his worth as a top defender and catch the attention of Brazil manager Tite before next year’s Copa America.

Everton among five clubs hoping to land Gabriel Magalhães who is seen defending Neymar Jr. in the photo
Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian forward Neymar (L) vies with Lille’s Brazilian defender Gabriel dos Santos Magalhaes during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Lille (LOSC) on November 22, 2019, at the Parc des Princes in Paris. (Photo by BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty Images)

What Will The Ligue 1 Prospect Add To Carlo Ancelotti’s Side?

Gabriel is often quick to scan the danger and is not shy of getting stuck in with some well-timed tackles to help secure possession back for his side. He can even pull off a few important clearances inside his half which makes him such a commanding figure at the centre of the Lille defence. The Brazilian prospect can make himself big and use his strength to outmuscle the opposition, which helps him win his fair share of aerial duels at both ends of the field.

Should The Toffees Step Up Their Efforts To Sign Gabriel?

There are indeed some question marks over whether Gabriel has what it takes to cope with the high intensity of Premier League football if the Merseyside outfit can figure out a way to land him ahead of the new season.

A centre-back of Gabriel’s ceiling will be a massive addition to the Toffees squad as he will not only improve the overall quality of Carlo Ancelotti’s starting XI but also add some stability and variety to his defensive department at Goodison Park. He could even increase competition for the likes of Mason Holgate, Michael Keane, Yerry Mina and Jarrad Branthwaite in the upcoming campaign.

Gabriel has all the skillset required to be a success story at the blue half of Merseyside. Therefore, it makes sense for Ancelotti to step up his attempts to bring the Brazilian defender to the north-west of England in this off-season.

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.