Footballers dreaming of signing for a Premier League club like Everton in 2019 are often treated to sold-out stadiums, generous salaries and fast-paced football – this dream turned nightmare for Jean-Philippe Gbamin whose transfer cost the club PS25 Million! Unfortunately for Gbamin though, his dream became a nightmare!
Gbamin’s four-year stint at Everton was marred by various factors, such as an Achilles injury, COVID-19 pandemic and problematic loan spells; yet allegations remain about Everton’s treatment of Gbamin as aggravating his situation.
Gbamin’s agent Bernard Collignon made these allegations. Last month, at 28 and in his prime years, Gbamin made headlines when he decided to forfeit the final year of his PS5 million salary voluntarily in an attempt to restart his career and is now free agent.
Collignon said Arsenal and Tottenham wanted Jean-Philippe in 2019. Jurgen Klopp of Mainz wanted JP before signing Fabinho, but we chose Everton because players who arrive directly at major clubs in England struggle to succeed—N’Golo Kante would likely never have reached his full potential at Chelsea had he not come from Leicester;
Riyad Mahrez failed immediately at Manchester City; Kurt Zouma failed immediately at Chelsea; Mo Salah failed immediately at Chelsea. Kevin De Bruyne and Timo Werner demonstrate that players must be prepared for this.
Gbamin made headlines at Lens and Mainz before Everton signed him to replace Idrissa Gana Gueye after his departure to PSG. Collignon believes Everton’s decisions during Gbamin’s initial days may have contributed to his injuries.
“JP arrived directly from Afcon and took three weeks off after his long season before playing his first match at Everton without preseason at just 90 minutes!”
Gbamin’s experience isn’t unique: many Premier League players have spoken openly about the pressure to train, play, and even take painkillers. Things can quickly spiral out of control in this high-stress environment; teams demand returns on investments; some players can manage it while others may struggle under such a burdensome workload.
Gbamin made just eight appearances during his four years at Everton due to injuries. Since his contract was terminated on September 1, Gbamin now feels as if he has more control over his career; leaving PS5 million at Everton was just to facilitate it!
Gbamin, now a free agent and eager to rekindle his career, remains an undeniable talent and hopes to add 16 caps for Ivory Coast national team coach Jean-Louis Gasset’s plans of having Gbamin play in Afcon 2016. Now waiting on an opportunity that allows him to showcase this undisputed ability on an amateur or professional team is where Gbamin wants his next step – hopefully finding an organization willing to give his talents another try.