The Toffees have been linked heavily with the Brazilian since manager Carlo Ancelotti joined the club in December 2019. But competition for his signature is heavy, with five teams submitting bids already and Ancelotti’s former side Napoli favourites to sign the defender this summer.
Who is Gabriel?
Gabriel dos Santos Magalhães, better known as Gabriel, has been a key player for LOSC Lille this season, playing 2087 minutes for the side, the 4th highest of any Lille player as they finished 4th in Ligue 1 and secured a place in the Europa League.
A ball progressing centre-back, he is known for his ability to quickly transition the ball into the opposition half, making 243 completed long passes into the opposition half, second in Ligue 1 only to Thiago Silva.
Where will he fit in?
Everton’s defenders have looked dominant in the air and from set-pieces this season, and Magalhães fits in with this theme, as Gabriel registered 17 attempts on goal this season, the sixth highest in Ligue 1.
Where he will shine, though, is when the ball is on the floor. Everton’s defensive line have struggled to make even the simplest of passes this season and Ancelotti will look to Magalhães to remedy this problem.
But who will he play alongside? Well, while Yerry Mina and Michael Keane both make more accurate short passes per 90 minutes than Mason Holgate, they fail to progress the ball forward with successful long passes as much as the young defender. They both also make more unsuccessful passes in both the short and long category than Holgate. So, if the deal to bring Magalhães to Goodison Park is successful, expect Everton to line up with a youthful pairing of the Brazilian and Mason Holgate.