Idrissa Gana Gueye insisted the support he has received from Evertonians made his decision to commit long-term to the Club simple and straightforward, after he signed a new deal to the end of June 2022.
Since arriving at Goodison from Aston Villa in August 2016, the Senegal international has made 64 appearances and scored three goals in all competitions, distinguishing himself as a tough-tackling and industrious defensive midfield player.
For Everton manager Sam Allardyce, securing Gana on a lengthy contract is “fantastic for the Club” and the player himself could not be more pleased given his popularity among Evertonians as well as his love for the fans.
“Everton is the right place for me and this is why I have signed my new deal,” Gana, 28, said.
“I am very happy to sign a new contract with Everton. It is great for me and for the Club and I am very happy.
“I love the fans here. They have been great to me. They made it easy for me to sign this contract. Of course, I spoke with my family and my agent, but the love of the fans was really important and this is a really good thing for me.
“I have enjoyed immensely my time so far at the Club, I enjoy working with the manager, his staff and the players here and we are really determined to finish the season strongly.
“We will keep working hard to build on our home record and try to get the same results or similar away from home, too. I believe in my team and I believe in this Club.”
Gana was a key contributor to last season’s seventh-placed finish, accumulating a Premier League-best 135 tackles – seven more than PFA Player of the Year N’Golo Kante.
He was named runner-up in the Club’s Player of the Season vote and, this season, Gana has made the second-highest number of tackles in the Premier League with 85.
Blues boss Allardyce said: “I’m really pleased that Idrissa has signed a new deal at the Club. He’s been terrific since I’ve been here and it’s fantastic for the Club.
“I love his attitude, the way he enjoys his football, the dedication and focus with which he trains every day and always with a smile on his face.
“It’s great that he’s committed long-term to Everton and he will enjoy some of his best football here in the years ahead.”