Former Everton striker Yakubu has hailed Idrissa Gana Gueye as the “signing of the season”.
The Nigerian, who earlier this month returned to English football with Coventry City, has been impressed with the way Gana has made an immediate impact at Goodison Park following a summer switch from Aston Villa.
Gana had featured in every game for the Blues before departing to represent Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations - and Yakubu has backed the midfielder to improve even further under manager Ronald Koeman.
“It is pleasing to see and, for me, he is the signing of the season.” Yakubu told evertonfc.com
. “He has everything - energy, pace and he supports the team at both ends of the pitch.
“The supporters have taken to him and I’m sure they will enjoy him even more and more as time goes on. I think next season he will be even better.”
Having played at a number of Africa Cup of Nations tournaments himself, Yakubu, now 34, acknowledges the difficulties of coping with an international tournament midway through a Premier League season.
He believes Gana will now be ready to find his best form again for the Toffees after helping the Lions of Teranga reach the quarter-finals of this year’s competition in Gabon.
“It is quite difficult to come back from an Africa Cup of Nations in the middle of the season,” he added. “It’s a different kind of football and you have to change your mentality for the tournament.
“It can be difficult in Africa - a lot of the pitches aren’t great which makes it tough.
“I found it took two or three weeks to get back up to full speed after returning, which I think is the case for a lot of players.”
To read more from Yakubu, pick up a matchday programme when the Blues take on Sunderland next weekend, or purchase a digital copy here.