Everton’s Idrissa Gana Gueye has praised his midfield partner Amadou Onana – calling him a “good young baller”.
What has Gueye said on Onana?
Both occupying the midfield at Goodison Park, the 33-year-old spoke to Everton’s official website about their unique relationship and how they both speak Wolof on the pitch, he said: “Sometimes I speak to him in Wolof on the pitch, it’s much easier!
“Ama is a good young baller, he has so much quality. He’s in a great place but he has to work hard now and keep the mindset he has of thinking he has a long way to go to fulfil his potential.
“I believe he can become one of the best midfielders.”
How has Onana performed this season for Everton?
This season, the Dakar-born central midfielder has been a shining light in a relatively poor Everton side. Via WhoScored, Onana – who cost the club around £33m – has the fourth-highest average match rating with 6.63 (for players with over 1000 minutes) – this shows that he has been consistent for the Merseyside club.
When looking at the underlying statistics, the €42m-rated (£37m) midfielder, praised for “physical presence and dynamism” by Roberto Martinez, it is clear his defensive capabilities have shone through. As per FBref, Onana is ranked within the top 7% of midfielders for aerials won with 2.25 per 90 minutes, and he is in the top 18% for interceptions per 90 minutes (1.46).
However, the £100k-per-week player has also been successful in possession too. As per Sofascore, Onana has a passing accuracy of 83% this season, with a 78% passing completion in the opposition half. This demonstrates his coolness on the ball, even when it isn’t the main aspect of his playstyle.
His tandem in midfield with Gueye, helped by the pairing both speaking their native language Wolof, has become a stalwart of the Merseyside club, with 26 and 23 Premier League appearances respectively. Consistency and finding a rhythm will be key for Everton and that is what Sean Dyche will have wanted to install in his players – the midfield plays an important role in this.
The Senegal international has been praised this season for his work rate, as Alan Shearer wrote how he “ran himself into the ground” following their win against Arsenal. Despite Everton’s current worries, if they are to stay in the Premier League, they have a squad that is capable of progressing much further: it is just about harnessing these players.
Onana is sure to have a prosperous career ahead of him – the praise from Gueye will be encouraging.