Everton’s Ancelotti backs Gbamin to shine and says striker signing unlikely

Carlo Ancelotti has claimed a central midfielder and striker are not transfer priorities for Everton this summer because the club trust Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Paris Saint-Germain have yet to make a permanent move for Moise Kean.

The Everton manager believes Gbamin will prove his worth despite sustaining as many serious injuries since his £22.5m arrival in 2019 as he has made first-team appearances. The Ivory Coast international played his third game for Everton as a substitute against Crystal Palace last week only to sustain a knee ligament injury in training that has ruled him out for the remainder of the season. He had missed the previous 20 months with thigh and achilles injuries.

Ancelotti is keen to strengthen at right-back with Norwich City’s Max Aarons under consideration, but the manager insists a replacement for Gbamin is not necessary.

“I don’t think we are going to replace Gbamin because we are sure he has the quality and the potential that he can play,” said Ancelotti, who had been impressed with the former Mainz midfielder when he returned to first-team training. “Before I came it was a great investment from the club and we still have trust in him. Honestly, he suffered a lot of injuries but we have confidence that when he is back next season he can be of help to us.

“Before this time of injury he had played at least 55-60 games without a problem. Unfortunately it can happen. Personally I was out injured for two years when I was 20 and I had a fantastic career afterward. It is a difficult moment for him but we are confident he will be back soon and in fantastic condition.”

Everton will again be without Dominic Calvert-Lewin for the home game against Tottenham on Friday and are the lowest scorers in the top half of the Premier League. But Ancelotti, who has Jordan Pickford, Allan, Josh King and André Gomes back from injury, insists a new striker is also not an urgent requirement.

“Honestly, we didn’t have a look at the market for next season because we are in the fight for European positions,” he said. “But I can tell you that it [a striker] will not be the position we are looking for. In front we are really well covered because we have Dominic Calvert-Lewin, we have Richarlison, we have in this moment Joshua King and we have Moise Kean coming back”

King’s short-term contract expires this summer although there is an option to extend, and there is uncertainty over Kean after a successful season on loan at PSG.

Ancelotti said of Kean: “I don’t have to convince him to stay at Everton. This is what the [loan] papers say. He is on loan and he has to come back. If Paris Saint-Germain wants him they have to open discussions about him. We are open [to negotiations] but if nothing happens then he will be an Everton player next season and an important player.”