By Jack Cunningham

25th Aug, 2021 | 7:30pm

Everton man Jean-Philippe Gbamin could be set for a key role after making long-awaited return

Jean-Philippe Gbamin had to wait 738 days to make his latest Everton start after going through injury hell.

However, finally, on Tuesday night, the 25-year-old started for the Toffees in the Carabao Cup and received a huge round of applause from the away end.

Gbamin has suffered more than most footballers over the past two years, but this start should mark a turning point in his Toffees career.

Gbamin played 90 minutes and proved to be the perfect foil for Tom Davies as he swept everything up in the middle of the park.

However, he also proved that he could be more than a destroyer as he recorded a passing accuracy of 84% and 52 touches [The Athletic].

Everton’s first-choice midfield pair under Rafael Benitez appears to be Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure, but Gbamin provides an interesting and potentially exciting alternative.

This is a man who has been described as a “monster” by personal trainer Theo Chapelle. Chapelle also praised his “exceptional physical qualities” [The Athletic].

The Toffees did shell out £25million for his signature back in the summer of 2019.

So, there is clearly a player in there waiting to get out, and though he looked slightly rusty against the Terriers, there was more than enough to indicate that he could become a key player for Benitez.

Of course, Doucoure and Allan could take some shifting, but Gbamin has all the attributes required to break this partnership up and finally prove why the Toffees spent so much money on him two years ago.

In other Everton news, the Toffees have been handed a fitness boost.

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