Goodison News View: Ancelotti spot on about 'big boost' for Everton
Everton may have lost their last game to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, but they could well benefit in the long-run from that contest.
That’s because the 3-2 defeat in north London saw prodigal midfielder Andre Gomes return to first team action.
The 26-year-old came on as a second-half substitute, instantly showing his class and pedigree in the middle of the park.
Having the Portugal international back is like – pardon the cliche – a new signing for manager Carlo Ancelotti, who hadn’t previously had a chance to work with the former Barcelona man.
It appears that the Italian is of a similar mind, and he’s clearly delighted to have Gomes back in the fold.
“It was a pleasure to send Andre Gomes on to the field in the second half last week,” he told the club’s official website.
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“We all have fantastic admiration for the way Andre coped with his setback and worked hard to be fit much more quickly than anybody expected.
“You could see straightaway the player’s ability and experience and it is a big boost to have him available again.”
Ancelotti is correct that Gomes’ influence was immediately felt at the Emirates. He instantly looked a class above the other central midfielders on the pitch.
In just over half an hour of football he made 27 passes, one fewer than Richarlison managed in the whole 90.
A stunning 92.6% of those found their intended target, while he also made one key pass. This was a tantalising glimpse of what’s to come for the Blues.
Gomes could be the missing piece between Everton being a talented but inconsistent team, and being one potentially playing in Europe next time round.
In other Everton news, Liverpool great Jamie Carragher has heaped praise on one in-form Toffee.