Everton's summer transfer plans rest on Gbamin

Everton midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin

Everton correspondent Greg O'Keeffe expects the club to assess the fitness of Jean-Philippe Gbamin before deciding on whether to sign a central midfielder this summer.

What is the latest news surrounding Gbamin's condition?

The Athletic's O'Keeffe has revealed in his Everton mailbag that Gbamin is back in full training. It is believed that he could be in contention for a place in the squad for Everton's game against Crystal Palace on Monday.

What has O'Keeffe said about Everton's chances of signing a new midfielder?

O'Keeffe was asked about whether the Toffees would be looking to bring in another midfielder this summer. 

Responding in his mailbag, he said: "I’d say that all depends on what we can finally see from Jean-Philippe Gbamin.

"The Ivorian is set to be fit, at long last, for the resumption of Premier League action on Easter Monday after returning to full training.

"Only when we’ve seen him in action consistently, and had proof he won’t break down again, will we know whether another central midfielder to add to the pool of Allan, Doucoure, Andre Gomes and Tom Davies will be necessary.

"If Gbamin can ever become the player Brands thought he’d signed, with the power and pace, he will be a timely and important addition to a squad he’s barely ever figured in properly since joining Everton in June 2019."

Does Gbamin have a long-running history of injury problems?

Prior to joining Everton - no. According to Transfermarkt, he had only previously missed 25 matches in his career before arriving on Merseyside in 2019.

However, his Premier League career has been plagued by injury woes. He has missed 78 matches across the last two seasons due to a hamstring injury followed by rupturing his achilles tendon.

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Can Everton really rely on Gbamin?

After spending much of the last two years on the sidelines, it is hard to imagine that Gbamin will hit the ground running when he does eventually get some game time.

With this in mind, Everton's director of football Marcel Brands should be on the lookout for a new midfielder at the end of the season. Currently though, it appears the Dutchman will evaluate Gbamin first before deciding on bringing in another central midfielder. 

But the club cannot afford to stand still in the hope that Gbamin finds his best form quickly. They were proactive in the transfer market last summer, bringing in Allan from Napoli to bolster their midfield.

The Brazilian has already made a considerable impact this term, completing 49 tackles in the Premier League - more than any of his teammates.

Rather than waiting for Gbamin to build up his fitness over time, Brands would be better off scouring the landscape for someone who can come in and hit the ground running like Allan has managed to do this season.

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