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Townsend surprised as Everton teammate Gueye plays as number 10
Photo by Maddie Meyer - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Townsend surprised as Everton teammate Gueye plays as number 10

Andros Townsend has told ITV (broadcast on 29/11; 15:18) that he was impressed after watching Everton teammate Idrissa Gueye play in the number 10 role in Senegal’s crucial World Cup clash with Ecuador on Tuesday.

Senegal’s task was clear heading into today’s clash. After losing to the Netherlands and beating Qatar, they had to beat Ecuador to reach the knockout stages – though a draw could have put them through had the Dutch lost to Qatar by some margin.

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Of course, Gueye is known as one of the world’s better holding midfielders of the last decade. He was outstanding during his first spell at Goodison Park. And he went on to make over 100 appearances for Paris Saint-Germain.

Townsend impressed by Idrissa Gueye as a number 10

Gueye is back on Merseyside at the age of 33. So he would not be someone you would expect to see used in a completely different role – particularly in such an important game.

Photo by Maddie Meyer – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

But that is exactly what happened against Ecuador. Gueye was playing as an attacking midfielder. Townsend – who is, of course, his teammate at Everton – was asked if he was playing as a number 10 after he did brilliantly to win a corner for his team.

“He is,” he said on ITV. “And that’s something I definitely haven’t seen during his second spell at Everton. But seems to be doing it well. Running in behind, causing havoc, wins his team an unbelievable corner through pure willingness.

“And that is something he’s always possessed. That aggression and willingness to make things happen.”

According to Transfermarkt, Gueye has played as an attacking midfielder twice during his entire club career. So it would have been a real surprise to many to see him playing so high up the pitch on Tuesday.

Obviously, that comes at a time when Everton are really struggling for goals this season. In fact, only Wolves have scored fewer goals in the Premier League than the 11 the Toffees have managed in 15 games.

It would be a shock if Frank Lampard decided to push Gueye forward. But that versatility would allow Everton to potentially assert more dominance in the middle of the park.

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