Everton new-boy Jean-Philippe Gbamin said he was aware of his new club’s interest in him for over a year, as per the Liverpool Echo.
The 23-year-old finally made his move after Idrissa Gueye switched to Paris Saint-Germain this summer and has been speaking about the transfer.
He said: “It was a year ago, pretty much, when I first heard of Everton’s interest. Things obviously sped up a little bit more recently once there was talking of Idrissa [Gueye] maybe leaving the club.
“He left and I came through the door. Maybe if Idrissa had ended up leaving the club in the winter window I might have left my club then. It’s a good thing for everyone that the move has happened in the summer, it’s a good time to move.”
Everton couldn’t afford to let Gueye go in the middle of the season because they were struggling at that stage, with Marco Silva’s job security not great.
Gbamin may have been able to come in to replace him then but getting up to speed in the middle of the season in a team that wasn’t at its best at that time would have been a big ask.
The way it’s worked out gives Gbamin a proper chance to get to grips with his new team-mates and adjust to life in England before what Everton will hope can be a successful season.