MALLORCA, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 13: Iddrisu Baba of RCD Mallorca and Andres Martin of Rayo Vallecano competes for the ball during the La Liga SmartBank match between Mallorca and Rayo Vallecano at Estadi de Son Moix on September 13, 2020 in Mallorca, Spain. (Photo by Rafa Babot/MB Media/Getty Images)
Another transfer rumour has surfaced with Everton being linked to a January move for the Rayo Mallorca midfielder Idrissu Baba.
The Ghana player is a mobile defensive enforcer who has been playing in Spain all his career and has apparently attracted the attention of Everton boss Rafa Benitez.
A Spanish media outlet claim the Blues’ boss is tracking the 25-year-old and wants to make a move for him in the upcoming winter transfer window.
More options in midfield is certainly something that this Toffees team desperately need as the continuing absence of Abdoulaye Doucoure has proved over the past few games.
The Frenchman’s injury couldn’t have come at a worst time on top of the club having both strikers Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin also out.
Doucoure has been probably Everton’s best performer since the start of the campaign and without his energy, workrate and excellent attacking contribution the Blues have struggled badly.
In both their past two matches the Toffees’ have been outplayed and often overrun in the middle and in the process have shipped seven goals.
The same collapse in form and effectiveness happened last season as once Doucoure went down injured it effectively killed off any lingering hopes the team had of securing European football.
Tom Davies didn’t convince alongide Allan as one of a midfield pair against Watford and hopes that Jean-Philippe Gbamin might finally come good and show what prompted Everton to spend nearly £30 million on him, have for the moment proved to be forlorn.
Maybe he can still recover his form and confidence but it looks increasingly as though that’s unlikely to be the case.
Without Gbamin’s contribution Benitez lacks any other obvious options to replace Doucoure as Monday night proved. The surprise was Fabian Delph’s solid contribution when he came on against Wolves.
But, even if by some miracle Delph can stay fit and keep performing consistently and Gbamin recovers his best form, there’s still a case to be made to have another option in the engine room.
The Toffees’ have been linked again and again with midfielders and so Baba is just the latest in a very long line of potential transfer targets.
Everton had a mobile, box-to-box African central midfielder with an almost identical first name, Idrissa Gueye, who the team couldn’t adequately replace when he left for PSG in 2019. For me it’s a key reason why the team has struggled so often since.
It’s really only been the first few weeks of this season that Doucoure finally freed from the over-defensive role he had to do under Carlo Ancelotti that the side had finally found as dynamic a performer as Gueye was.
Given all the struggles and failings of this team over the past few weeks, Benitez will presumably have a long shoppoing list of players to try and tick off when January comes around assuming he’s still in charge at Goodison. Will Baba be among them?
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