Idrissa Gueye first came on the radar for many Paris Saint-Germain supporters in November of 2018 when it was reported that the former Everton FC midfielder might be interested in coming to the French capital.
The Senegal international wouldn’t get his move to PSG the following January but during last summer’s transfer window, Leonardo, PSG’s sporting director, pulled the trigger and completed a €32 million deal for Gueye as reported by Marca.
When supporters got a look at his statistics in the Premier League, the transfer was immediately lauded as one of the missing links in PSG’s quest to win the UEFA Champions League.
Idrissa Gueye in the Premier League since joining Everton in 2016/17:
• Most tackles (364)
• Most interceptions (207)
N'Golo Kanté is the only outfield player with more recoveries. 🔋 pic.twitter.com/1meG6aDdWX
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 11, 2019
Most interceptions made in the Premier League since 2016/17:
🥇 Idrissa Gueye (207)
🥈 N'Golo Kanté (206)
🥉 Oriol Romeu (202)
The only three with 200+ this time. pic.twitter.com/Zu5Rh0PMA6
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 12, 2019
The 30-year-old got off to a flying start with his new club. The standout performance was against Real Madrid last September where Squawka rated him a 9, which tied him with Angel Di Maria for the highest of the match.
Gueye has slowed down a bit, due mostly to injury, but he has returned to the squad and is regaining full fitness in preparation for PSG’s Champions League Round of 16 opponent, Borussia Dortmund on February 18.
In a recent interview on Canal Football Club, reported by Culture PSG, Gueye discussed his humble beginnings and what it means to play for PSG. Here are some of the best quotes from the interview:
On impressive Premier League statistics…
“It’s the statistics that speak (laugh). At first, it scared me, when I was little I always prayed to be a professional player but not known because there was a song in Senegal that said that when you are known you have no peace.”
On the love of the game and playing barefoot…
“Whether in the sun or whatever, I loved it when I was little, I couldn’t play with crampons. My big brother bought them but I never put them on. Sometimes I started with them and I saw that I did not play well, so I removed the crampons and played in my bare feet.”
More Olympique de Marseille supporters in Senegal?
“Do we have to talk about it? (laughs) Yes, it’s true, from what I see, there are more OM supporters but that will change.”
On being the missing link in PSG’s squad…
“…I am a shadow player. It’s my state of mind, I like to do work for others in addition to mine, I was educated and I grew up like that.”
Has PSG changed his life?
“It has changed a lot of things yes, like the way I am seen and the way people view you. You could say that PSG changed my life.”
You can learn more about Gueye in a video recently posted on the club’s official YouTube account.
Want more PSG? Visit the PSG Talk Podcast Network page and subscribe to PSG Talking, The 1970, and 24th & Parc.