Sometimes, despite the relegation suffered by a team, a player can emerge to have a great season and enhance their reputation despite the demise of their team. That is clearly the fact in the case of Stoke City midfielder Badou Ndiaye.
Since his arrival in January, the midfield dynamo has been in fine form for the Potters, despite their eventual relegation from the Premier League. He cost Stoke a fee reported to be in the region of £14 million by the BBC. He has certainly lived up to the price-tag since his arrival from Galatasaray and he signed off for the season with a goal against fellow trapdoor club Swansea City on Sunday.
So should Everton look to keep him in the Premier League?
When Aston Villa were relegated from the top-flight in 2016 not many of their players came away from the campaign with any credit. Perhaps the only one, in fact, was midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye. The Senegalese international was, therefore, snapped up by Everton and has gone on to become a star for the Toffees and a real fan favourite.
This summer, a similar move for Gueye’s international colleague could have the same impact.
In central midfield, Everton need to make improvements. Morgan Schneiderlin has not been impressive throughout the campaign and is fairly unpopular with the Goodison Park faithful. James McCarthy is set to miss most of 2018 with a horror injury and Wayne Rooney looks to be on his way to the USA.
The other midfield options at Everton are attacking midfielders, such as Tom Davies, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Davy Klaassen.
Bringing in Ndiaye could give Everton the extra energy they need in the heart of midfield in order to improve on what was a largely forgettable season under both Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce.
Pairing Gueye and Ndiaye would see Everton have one of the league’s more dynamic midfield pairings and could be a massive improvement on their squad from this ill-fated campaign.