Ben Gibson has the ability to make the leap up to the Premier League for the Toffees.
Middlesbrough finished the regular season in fifth place, which saw them avoid a dangerous Fulham side, but instead, they came up against an experienced Villa side. Steve Bruce’s men proved to be too much for Boro as they won 1-0 over two legs with a Mile Jedinak header from a corner being the difference.
Everton had an odd season because they had high expectations, but started poorly and even flirted with relegation. They brought in Sam Allardyce to avoid this, but they didn’t really need him and ended up finishing eighth. His relationship with the fans totally broke down and he was sacked after the season ended.
Gibson only missed one game across the entire league season, including the play-offs, as he was a model of consistency for his side. This reliability allowed the team to work around him as there was a familiar presence in a key area, and he had a good understanding with both Daniel Ayala and Dael Fry.
Tony Pulis has his teams play in a traditional direct manner with the focus on set pieces as well as shifting play to the wings in the attacking areas. However, Gibson’s passing numbers are good because he averaged 46.4 passes per game with 80.1% accuracy, although he did play a lot of games under Garry Monk as well.
He was a formidable presence in the Boro defence with an average of 6 clearances per game, so he is tough to get past as well as being composed in possession when needed. This is a good mixture for a side such as Everton which has to deal with breaking down the sides lower in the table while also absorbing pressure from the top six who dominate possession against them and control games.
This may be less important, but he also provided a set piece threat with one goal and three assists which is another useful attribute to have. He may cost a significant fee for a Championship centre-back, but he has the skillset to be a success in the Premier League.
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