PSG have moved quickly to reinforce their midfield ranks by signing the Senegalese hard man form Everton.
1 - Since making his debut for Everton in August 2016, Idrissa Gueye made more tackles (395) and interceptions (218) than any other player in the Premier League. Enforcer. pic.twitter.com/qmXKO091gm— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 30, 2019
Gueye's all-action style has seen him complete more tackles and interceptions than any other player in the fast-paced environment of the Premier League, second only to Nigerian Wilfred Ndidi for tackles made.
How will he help PSG in their quest for Champions League glory?
⚖️ PSG's need for balance in midfield
The Ligue 1 side has been a dominant force in France in recent years but they remain desperate to claim Champions League glory, after missing out at the round of 16 stages in the last four years. However, they've not been able to convert local dominance into Champions League success, falling at the round of 16 hurdle in each of the last three seasons.
With Adrien Rabiot having departed, PSG needed a reliable central midfield partner for playmaker Marco Verratti and it seems that Gueye is that man. With Gueye in the side, Verratti will have less defensive responsibility which will free him up to make the play further up the field. Verratti has infamously cost PSG dearly on big Champions League nights, most recently with a red card against Real Madrid in 2018. That seems far less likely to happen with the Senegalese star in the mix.
⚽️ Possession vs patience
PSG is now highly accustomed to hogging the ball for long periods in Ligue 1 matches but when it comes to Champions League weeks, they struggle to dominate matches as they do in their domestic league and that comes as a culture shock. Now, with the acquisitions of Gueye and Ander Herrera, they might be able to play a more mature, patient game out of possession and not be so naive when going forward.
🧩 Is Gueye the missing piece?
Idrissa Gueye is a specialist defensive midfielder who is especially adept at making interceptions, breaking up play and then distributing the ball to his teammates. However, he can also excel in a box-to-box role, as he has for his country Senegal, and brings a complete array of skills to the party. He really is the all-rounder that PSG was crying out for.
Although Gueye isn’t a box-office household name, he might just be exactly what the Parisians need to bridge the gap between the quarterfinals and the promised land of Champions League glory. His performance against Real Madrid last night was a promising start to his life in a PSG jersey on Champions League nights.
Read more: PSG signs Idrissa Gueye