Idrissa Gana Gueye has rejoined Everton from Paris Saint-Germain for an undisclosed fee, the midfielder signing a two-year contract until the end of June 2024.
The Senegal international returns to Merseyside after spending three years with the Blues from 2016 to 2019, making 108 appearances and forging a reputation as one of the Premier League’s best defensive midfielders.
Gana left Goodison Park for Paris Saint-Germain in July 2019 and, during his three years in the French capital, won two league titles, four domestic cups and finished runner-up to Bayern Munich in the 2020 Champions League final.
The all-action midfielder becomes Everton’s seventh signing of the summer transfer window following the arrivals of defenders James Tarkowski, Rúben Vinagre and Conor Coady, midfielder Amadou Onana and forwards Dwight McNeil and Neal Maupay.
On his return to Everton, Gana told evertontv: “There is no better feeling than coming back home. I am very happy to be here at Everton again, to help and to work hard. I’ll give my soul to this team.
“Coming back here was important to me because I feel like I’m in my home. I’ve followed the team every week and watched how they play. For me, there is no better place than Everton, so that’s why I chose to come back here.
“There is also a great atmosphere at the stadium and everyone here is like a family. I felt very, very good when I was here [the first time] and even when I went to Paris, I kept in touch with some of the players here and continued to support the team.
“For me, it’s special. I told PSG if I am going to leave it will be for one team — and that was Everton.
“It was not a difficult decision for me because I love this club. That’s why I had to come home. It’s a pleasure for me to be back and hopefully we will have a good season because we have to go and try to achieve our goals.”
Gana’s energetic performances during his first spell at Everton saw him become a firm fans’ favourite, leading to him finishing runner-up in the Club’s Player-of the-Season vote in his maiden campaign, before sharing the Players’ Player honour in 2018/19.
Gana regularly finished among the Premier League’s top tacklers, leading the way in 2016/17 with 135 - seven more than PFA Player of the Year, N’Golo Kante - and registering the second highest in his following two campaigns.
He has more than 90 caps for Senegal, leading his country to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations and playing at both the 2012 Olympic Games and 2018 World Cup.
Everton manager Frank Lampard said: “We are delighted to add a player of Idrissa’s quality and experience to the squad. We have been eager to strengthen our midfield options and his attributes will undoubtedly benefit the squad.
“Idrissa has played at the highest level of football. Evertonians know all about his tireless work rate and the value he brings to a team, and we are looking forward to him bringing all of that now he’s back at the Club.”
Director of Football, Kevin Thelwell, added: “Idrissa is a player we were all keen to bring back to the Club he calls home and our Chairman has worked tirelessly over recent weeks to make that happen and to get this important deal done.
“Idrissa has showed in his previous three years at the Club how important he is, and we have no doubt he will be a key part of our team again and provide strong competition in our midfield.”