In desperate need of a defensive midfielder under Thomas Tuchel last year, Paris Saint-Germain, who were unable to afford Chelsea’s N’Golo Kanté, decided instead to turn their attention to Everton’s Idrissa Gueye.
The story started during the 2018-19 January transfer window, and it even looked as if it would get done, but Marco Silva’s side decided to hang onto their player for lack of finding a replacement in time.
Gueye expressed his disappointment at the failed opportunity and missed two games to clear his head, but the Senegal international swiftly returned to Everton’s first-team and remained as professional as ever during the second half of the campaign.
This summer saw the French side return with another attempt, and the Premier League side’s ability to sign Jean-Philippe Gbamin from Mainz to replace him allowed the defensive midfielder to return to France, where he had first broken through with Lille back in 2010, in a £27m transfer.
— beIN Ligue 1 Confo (@beINLigue1Confo) September 13, 2019
Sitting down with beIN Sports in France before the Strasbourg game, the former Everton man explained the rollercoaster of emotions that was his failed move only to get his dream transfer a few months later.
He said: “Of course, I was disappointed, but what was worse was to see my family even more disappointed than me. It allowed me to stay focused and to tell myself that if it didn’t happen, there was a reason if God wanted it that way. So I continued to work and respect the Everton shirt, the club who allowed me to play at that level, and I gave my all for them and for myself.
“In the end, they came back in the summer and it got done. I wasn’t really thinking about it, because many people had told me the train had left the station, and it wouldn’t come again. I just kept on thinking about me, the club and work, but when they came back I started saying, yeah, it needs to get done”.
Since his move, he has started the last three games for Paris Saint-Germain, which they have all won without conceding a goal.
Next up, Real Madrid in the Champions League.