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Lille defender emerges as summer target for Everton

| Monday, 24 February 2020 43comments  |  Jump to last
Everton are being linked with a £30m move for Lille defender Gabriel according to reports in The Times, MailSport and The Mirror.

The 22-year-old Brazilian has been in impressive form in Ligue 1 this season and is reportedly being tracked by Arsenal and Leicester City but it's the Toffees who are ready to make their move if these reports are true.

Paul Joyce in The Times reports that Everton scouts have run the rule over Gabriel on a number of occasions.

Although he recently signed a new contract at Lille, Gabriel "is expected to leave this summer" for a bigger club.

Original Source: The Times  
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Reader Comments (43)

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James Flynn
1 Posted 24/02/2020 at 18:09:24
Another Brazilian, 6'-3". I don't follow that league except for Gana. Anyone seen him?
Mike Gaynes
2 Posted 24/02/2020 at 18:26:15
James, I've seen him two or three times in the Champions League (vs Chelsea twice and maybe Ajax?). Left-footed, ridiculously long legs, good pace. I recall being impressed with his long passing -- made some great accurate finds over the top, 40-50 yards right onto teammates' chests.

This is his first top-level season, and Transfermarkt says he has played almost every game for Lille. No debut yet for Brazil. I think I read Arsenal were tracking him last year.

Steve Shave
3 Posted 24/02/2020 at 18:29:26
Lille's recruitment over the past 5 years has been absolutely top drawer. Someone there really knows what they are doing.
James Flynn
4 Posted 24/02/2020 at 18:59:17
Thanks, Mike. Any remembrance on his defenders? What we have now won't do.
Derek Knox
5 Posted 24/02/2020 at 21:08:40
Sounds a promising addition to what we have at the moment with Keane being erratic, Holgate a gem, and Mina can be a bit hit and miss, but what happens if Mina or Holgate or both, get an injury?

Too thin on the ground and not enough competition for places in that slot, or could Lewis Gibson be elevated to first team? Is he actually ready? How much will we have to spend in the Summer?

Do we retain Sidibe? Do we also bring Jonjoe back? So many questions, and that's just the defence. I won't even start with the midfield because I think a lot will depend on who we can ship out, but an overhaul is definitely needed there.

Paul Birmingham
6 Posted 24/02/2020 at 21:32:53
Derek,@5, you've hit the nails on the head.

A massive pre-season, that famous cliche, but this one I'm convinced will require ruthless professionalism by the manager and board to get a team that believes it can win, every game.

Game management and a winning mentality is massive, but some of the players must know, that they don't earn their right to be part of this squad. Whom we buy and release, sell for profit or loss, will be interesting.

But exciting times, and the club is improving, and is in the best position in my view since the days of Howard Kendall Mk 1 as manager..

That's a long time.

Jay Wood

7 Posted 24/02/2020 at 21:38:31
This is the type of signing I want to see more of from Brands.

Not the £30 million player now being quoted, but when Lille first recruited him for a mere €3 million fee, three years ago when he had barely turned 19.

The type of signing so far under the radar that it doesn't even register a blip.

I know nothing of the lad from his Brazilian days, a single season with Serie B Avai, a yoyo club in recent years with two promotions and two relegations between the top two divisions, all in consecutive seasons. He only had a single season with them as an 18-year-old in Serie B and didn't feature regularly.

I note Lille loaned him out for a Troyes in France then Dinamo Zagreb for a couple of seasons and it is only now this season he appears to have become a regular for Lille.

Not on the Brazil national team radar from what I know, either.

Seems a lot of money to me based on his record to date.

Robert Tressell
8 Posted 24/02/2020 at 22:37:32
There's a few in this category of tall left-sided centre-backs. This guy, Pau Torres at Villarreal, Salisu of Valladolid and Niakhate of Mainz spring to mind. They would all provide quality and depth – although all different styles and big units too.
Sam Hoare
9 Posted 24/02/2020 at 22:49:15
Good player. Fast, strong and a very decent passer indeed. Prone to the odd error and would need to step up a bit to nail down a first-team spot, I think, but has all the raw materials.

Wish we had got Saliba instead of Arsenal. That guy is a beast and could single-handedly improve Arsenal the way Van Dijk did to Liverpool.

I see Sangare has also been linked today, one of my faves. I'd be pretty happy if we got Gabriel, Sangare and Jonathan David to play right wing.

Alan J Thompson
10 Posted 25/02/2020 at 04:15:23
If he has not yet played for Brazil is there any danger of him being another Onyekuru or does he have some sort of qualification that allows him to play in France or Europe?
Jack Woods
11 Posted 25/02/2020 at 05:18:44
Robert (#8): I'd like us to go after Salisu but can only imagine Valladolid will be asking for a big fee as payback after we inflicted Sandro Ramirez on them for this season.
Derek Knox
12 Posted 25/02/2020 at 07:24:58
Jay @7, yes exactly I am happy we have Brands as part of our system, but some of the transfer prices have been suspect to say the least.

He has a reputation for discovering (through his network of scouts) raw talent quite often in South America and Mexico. I expected he would unearth a couple when he came to us.

Iwobi is a case and point of being the total antithesis of that, as basically he has disappointed in the games played thus far. He may come good, but surely he is leaving it late, and will he ever justify that astronomical fee and wages.

Whether he has been pressurised from within to get players in to appease the fans, or whatever, we will probably never be privy to. At a time when we are perilously close to breaching FFP Rules, it almost beggars belief when you analyse the lack of quality of what we have.

No bang for our bucks, although we do have a nucleus of decent players, but many have either come through the ranks, or cost buttons in comparison to today's silly price market. The jury is still pondering whether Marcel Brands will deliver in the next few Windows, and hopefully get a few bargains!

David Thomas
13 Posted 25/02/2020 at 07:36:40
Derek 12,

I know I will be in the minority on this site but I think Brands has got a hell of a lot still to prove. I can't say I've been massively impressed with his signings so far.

Obviously some, like Gomes, have been a success but Iwobi, in my opinion, was a huge waste of money and, for me, the jury is still very much out on the likes of Mina etc.

Jim Bennings
14 Posted 25/02/2020 at 08:10:26
Are there no old-fashioned heart-on-sleeve central defenders in the Championship anymore at a lower price?

We paid fairly big money for Mina and Digne, neither what you'd call phenomenal defenders and Holgate is better with the ball at his feet than when he is throwing his head in the way of things.

Michael Keane I'd expect sold on in the summer if a bid arrives of any note.

In loathe to pay so much money for these “supposed to be's“ from abroad all the time, very rarely do we bring a player straight from abroad and they become anything other than average, especially from slightly lesser leagues.

Steve Shave
15 Posted 25/02/2020 at 08:17:37
Jim @14,

Yes, Joe Worral at Nottm Forest has to fall into that category.

Derek Knox
16 Posted 25/02/2020 at 12:34:32
Jim & Steve, I forgot to mention in my previous post about Jarrod Branthwaite, I think Carlo rates him very highly because he has had him train with the first team already.

Bearing in mind he's only been here for a dog-watch, he must have seen something in the lad, but whether he's ready for an assault on the Premier League next season is matter for conjecture.

Valid point you made, Jim, and not just talking Everton, many high priced defenders have come in for other Clubs and been total flip-flops, Eliaquim Mangala springs to mind. Van Dijk has been one exception but, at £75M, you would hope so.

Steve, yes, I have seen the lad Joe Worral who looks okay and I'm sure wouldn't command a silly fee and exorbitant wages if signed.

Brent Stephens
17 Posted 25/02/2020 at 13:00:50
Derek #16 "I forgot to mention in my previous post about Jarrod Branthwaite, I think Carlo rates him very highly because he has had him train with the first team already".

Yes, really looking forward to seeing more of this guy in the U23s. Next home game is versus Liverpool on 16th March. Chelsea away 2nd March – I don't know if Chelsea will live-stream that.

Sam Hoare
18 Posted 25/02/2020 at 14:35:00
This is a generalisation but I think lots of the Championship defenders are good for teams looking to play a lower block, like Burnley or Brighton, but teams with a higher block will need defenders who can combine strength with great pace, acceleration and anticipation.

Worall, for example, looks a good player but, to my eye, is better suited to a team like Sheffield United, Burnley or Brighton. Whereas someone like Ben White at Leeds is quicker and has better anticipation and more likely to be a target for teams like us who defend a bit higher up the pitch.

Sam Hoare
19 Posted 25/02/2020 at 14:43:34
Derek, on Iwobi, I think he's been disappointing but he's so young still and has only started 13 matches. He's also had injuries and been played in 5 different positions! Not many players are going to perform their best under such circumstances.

I think his best work is done centrally and he may suffer now that we are playing a 4-4-2 with no No 10, which is where I think he is best suited. I don't think he can be sold so soon (without taking a loss) so it may be up for him and Carlo to work out where he best fits. He's a very good passer and has some of the best stats in the league for completed passes forward in the final third but he looks low on confidence and form at the moment.

Tom Bowers
20 Posted 25/02/2020 at 15:51:57
We have had central defenders in recent years who have been prone to error but aren't they all. Sometimes it's down to getting the right chemistry. Who's picking up who at free-kicks and corners etc.

In some games, the full-backs are allowed to venture forward more often and in others they are told to stay at home. A few years back Coleman and Baines were the best in the Premier League at getting forward but were also very quick at getting back. Much depends on speedy defenders but also on the system that is employed.

It doesn't help when the keeper starts to look shaky also. Everton's defence has been iffy all season and Sunday's game was no exception but having said that they could have gotten a result if the finishing had been better.

Whoever they buy he has to be able to communicate well with the others. Ratcliffe and Mountfield were the last partnership that looked solid for Everton.

Robert Tressell
21 Posted 25/02/2020 at 19:25:00
Sam totally agree about the need for defenders who are comfortable with a high line. Lots of defenders look great when parked on the edge of their box. We cannot use a player like that. We need fast, agile players who read the game well and can use the ball welk too. Worrall might be a warrior and all that, but if he's exposed by a simple ball over the top then its no use.

More generally, agree Iwobi was a weird signing. But think he'll become a very useful player once he beds in (although maybe like at arsenal, never quite commanding a first 11 place when everyone us fit). Could we have spent circa £30m better – yes. But we have him now and he's not that bad.

Hugh Jenkins
22 Posted 27/02/2020 at 08:36:40
I am surprised that no-one on this thread has yet said, "But it's a centre-midfielder we need more". Or, are you all, like me, thinking that Carlo has earmarked Holgate for defensive centre-midfield alongside Gomes?
Ray Roche
23 Posted 27/02/2020 at 08:44:08
Tom @20,

“Ratcliffe and Mountfield — the last solid partnership”?

So you didn't rate Jagielka, Distin and Lescott?

Mike Keating
24 Posted 27/02/2020 at 10:23:18
Sam @ 18,

“But teams with a higher block will need defenders who can combine strength with great pace, acceleration and anticipation.“

Makes you wonder what we ever saw in Michael Keane!

John Raftery
25 Posted 27/02/2020 at 10:47:32
Ray (23) or Ratcliffe and Watson.
Rob Marsh
26 Posted 27/02/2020 at 12:10:56
Never seen him play, but he needs to be a defender who can defend and be in the right positions to defend before he needs to be an eye catcher at the other end.

Think Maldini or Pique, we've got too many defenders who are caught out being adventurous.

Ray Roche
27 Posted 27/02/2020 at 16:06:53
John Raftery, a young Distin, Jags or Lescott would walk into almost any Premier League side, especially ours. Whether they're better than Watson is open to debate. Ratcliffe was, in his pomp, in a class of his own.
Jay Harris
28 Posted 27/02/2020 at 16:44:33
Personally didnt think Rats was a great Centre half but he had the pace to recover.

Didnt he play LB for a while?

Thought Weir, Stubbs and Gough were pretty decent too.

Makes the current incumbents look a bit poor anyway.

Ray Roche
29 Posted 27/02/2020 at 16:54:41
Jay, I think Ratts started as a full back but found his niche at centre half. I'm happy to be corrected on this. As you say, he had plenty of pace. I rate Ratts very highly, he's probably be in my best all time team (that I've seen), alongside Labone.

Gough was terrific, it's a pity he joined us so late in his career. Same with Weir and Ablett.

Dave Abrahams
30 Posted 27/02/2020 at 16:56:11
Jay (28), I was going to suggest Alan Stubbs and Davie Weir but didn’t think they played often enough together, but when they did they were a great pairing.Gough was great in that first season but then suffered an injury and didn’t play much the second season he was here.
Robert Tressell
31 Posted 27/02/2020 at 17:09:08
Im hoping that we'll see a couple of signings of the likes of maghaeles + maybe 3 of the likes of vlasic previously and branthwaite more recently. The latter category may well end up out on loan. Probs got another season with walcott, schneiderlin and a few others. Could see us selling sigurdsson for about £18m to a promoted side (or anyone who feels like they're missing someone to take pot shots from around the D). But if we do get just a couple of quality players in, it will make a big difference
Tony Abrahams
32 Posted 27/02/2020 at 17:14:02
What was the name of the midfielder who played for Athletico Madrid, against Liverpool, last week Sam H? Black lad, good first touch, drove forward and ate up the ground, I only saw the last 30 minutes, but he looked a very powerful kid.
Jay Harris
33 Posted 27/02/2020 at 17:28:08
You don't mean Thomas Partey do you.
Ian Bennett
34 Posted 27/02/2020 at 17:36:00
Thomas Partey was the impressive player. Michael Essien build and just snuffed out danger. Impressive.
Robert Tressell
35 Posted 27/02/2020 at 17:57:04
We buy thomas partey, I party. He is out of reach unfortunately. As sam hoare said, we need to pick them up as unpolished diamonds for a couple of million. Or even aged about 22 and still developing. Sangare (recently linked) could get very good - and theres a handful of similar players in france of his ilk. Luis Florentino in Portugal also. We need to find the next thomas partey
John P McFarlane
36 Posted 27/02/2020 at 18:55:04
Richard the contract negations will take eons for Thomas.
John P McFarlane
37 Posted 27/02/2020 at 19:13:01
Richard I'll try that again - the contract negotiations will take eons for Thomas.

First Party

Tony Abrahams
38 Posted 27/02/2020 at 19:16:26
I didn’t catch his name but that must be the player I was on about Jay & Ian. I should have guessed he’d be out of our reach Robert, but to play 4-4-2, in this modern game, then you definitely need quick, athletes in the middle of the park.

I also think 4-4-2 contradicts the pressing game, because centre backs should not be coming towards our midfield, on the ball, with all the time in the world, like Luiz had on Sunday, for Arsenals second goal, but that’s another argument all together, because I also thought we were very flexible with the ball at times on Sunday, which usually isn’t the case when teams play a methodical 4-4-2 system?

We definitely need players with energy though, because its probably the only real way to be aggressive in this modern game, imo.

Paul Tran
39 Posted 27/02/2020 at 20:04:35
Ray 27, Ratcliffe definitely started as full-back. I'll never forget the quarter final against City, when they equalised late after a dirty display and Kevin nutted Hutchinson by the corner flag and walked off before he was sent off. Always thought he was under-rated; good pacy footballer with a wonderful mindset and could put it about when he had to.
Rob Halligan
40 Posted 27/02/2020 at 22:43:47
Just watched the Arsenal v Olympiakos game, well the second half and extra time, and both Olympiakos centre-halves, Cisse and Ba, looked very good. Both defended well and look very composed on the ball.

They kept Lacazette and Aubameyang so quiet, that neither had a sniff at goal, until 7 minutes from the end, when Aubameyang scored a great overhead goal, which looked like the winner, until Olympiakos scored a dramatic late winner to go through on away goals. As I say though, Cisse and Ba looked very good to me.

Ray Roche
41 Posted 27/02/2020 at 22:54:52
Paul @39,

Thanks for the confirmation, I'm not losing it after all! Excellent player, Ratcliffe.

David Ellis
42 Posted 04/03/2020 at 06:43:59
Paul @39 - Don't think Ratters was underrated. He was considered the best centre-back in the league in the mid 80s along with Mordor's Mark Lawrenson. Neither of whom were English which at the time was unusual.

Had they been English, the 1986 World Cup may have turned out better (with 6 Everton players in the starting XI instead of just 5!) and Maradona would never have scored that second goal - (Fenwick and Butcher left for dead... and a hobbling Peter Reid) Ratcliffe would have had the pace to shut him down. If Bracewell was fit as well then we'd have 7 in the side.

Tony Everan
43 Posted 05/03/2020 at 16:37:07
In talks now to sign this young Brazilian lad according to a few sites. Sounds like he has been well scouted; Richarlison and Bernard may be recommending him too.

Hugh #22, I was thinking the same about Holgate being thought of long term as a defensive central midfielder. I think he would excel there.

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