FEATURE: Can Gueye sparkle in England?
Aston Villa midfielder Idrissa Gueye has recently claimed that it was his hunger to play in the Premier League along with the club’s efforts to sign the player which prompted his move from Lille.
Having been officially unveiled at Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground, AFS’s French football correspondent Jamie Barlow gives the low down on what to expect from the 25-year-old in England next season.
Manager Tim Sherwood recently hailed the midfielder as one of the hottest prospects in French football and splashed £9 million to sign the player and I fully expect Gueye to merit his price tag.
Sherwood has clear man management skills – the former Spurs boss transformed the performances of Emmanuel Adebayor at White Hart Lane – and I fully expect him to fine tune Idrissa Gueye at Villa Park.
The Togo international is continuously being linked to the West Midlands club, and like Adebayor under Sherwood at Spurs, I fully expect Gueye to flourish.
Although Villa’s midfield has been depleted with the departure of Fabian Delph to Manchester City, I foresee the former Lille star stepping up to the plate and orchestrating Villa’s midfield in Delph’s absence.
The Senegalese man is box to box and dynamic and I envisage Gueye becoming the engine room of Villa’s side next year – Tim Sherwood expects work rate and energy – and Gueye will offer that in abundance.
The Senegal international has bags of experience and has been plying his trade in the highest echelon of French football since making his debut in 2010.
Gueye made 134 appearances for Lille and has been capped 18 times for his native Senegal.
At just 5ft 9in tall Gueye might need time to adapt to the physicality of the Premier League but the nimble midfielder has all the hallmarks to adapt to the pace in England.
Gueye is not shy in the tackle and is quite a spectacle with the ball at his feet, and with the player’s adept range of passing Villa fans will take to the Senegal ace and can expect full commitment on the pitch.