View: Andre Gomes fails to sparkle in Everton midfield again, Ancelotti must think twice
The performance of Andre Gomes against Rotherham United on Saturday was yet another display of the midfielder’s decline in an Everton shirt.
The 27-year-old failed to assert his authority on the Championship strugglers as the Toffees laboured to a 2-1 extra-time victory at Goodison Park.
Rotherham are second-bottom of the Championship with just 16 points from 20 games and they came into the third-round FA Cup fixture with just one win in their last nine games.
Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti named a strong side with the likes of Gomes and Cenk Tosun getting a run-out alongside the likes of James Rodriguez and Lucas Digne.
Next to Tom Davies at the base of the Blues midfield, Gomes would have been expected to control the game with ease and showcase the abilities that first persuaded Barcelona to sign him and then Everton to fork out over £20million for his permanent signature.
However, the performance Gomes produced was nothing short of woeful and his pairing with Davies is a major drop down in quality from the Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure duo that began the season so well in the Premier League.
The lack of quality cover that can come in and replace them will be of concern to Ancelotti going forwards.
It is Gomes’ lack of drive, pace and intensity that is so noticeable in the middle of midfield.
He was never the quickest player anyway and that part of his game seems to have further decreased after the bad injury he received in 2019 against Tottenham Hotspur.
Per WhoScored Gomes was dispossessed twice against Rotherham while he only made two tackles, four less than midfield counterpart Davies.
He made 75 passes which was the third most on the field but only managed one key pass, the same as Cenk Tosun.
It is not just this performance that raises questions but it was merely a continuation of his poor form of late and his inability to grasp an opportunity is a poor reflection on him.
He has only made five starts for Everton in the Premier League this season and no player to have accrued more than 250 minutes has a lower WhoScored rating than Gomes (6.32).
That puts him in the top 30 worst performers in the Premier League according to WhoScored and while statistics are not always reflective of a player’s contribution, there can be no getting away from the lack of guile in particular that Gomes is failing to add to the team.
The question is, if Gomes is not controlling the pace of the game, nor putting a huge defensive shift in, or creating chances, what is he doing in the midfield?
The answer it would seem is nothing at the moment, and Ancelotti might consider twice the next time he turns to a replacement for Allan and Doucoure.
In other Everton news, see our view on why this reported Toffees target has more to offer than some fans think.