Speaking to evertonfc.com ahead of this weekend’s Premier League clash with West Ham United, Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has been full of praise for midfielder Andre Gomes following his return to training.
Well, the Portugal international is back in action at USM Finch Farm just over two months after suffering a horrific fractured disclocation to his right ankle against Tottenham Hotspur at the beginning of November.
Ancelotti therefore is yet to see him in action having only been named as Marco Silva’s successor on Merseyside last month, but he clearly already realises what a big player the 26-year-old is for the Toffees.
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The Italian told evertonfc.com: “It is really important for us to have him back. It takes time to recover completely but the fact he feels good in this moment and has no pain, he’s started to work individually, is important for us.
“As soon as possible we need this kind of player, with his kind of characteristics.
“Everyone knows how important he is for the team.”
Those are certainly some big words from Ancelotti considering he has never seen him play a match for Everton in the flesh, but the 60-year-old has made his feelings on the Portuguese ace clear.
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Once Gomes is fully fit and ready to be picked, it seems obvious from these comments that he should be an automatic starter in his manager’s preferred 4-4-2 formation – the one he used when the Toffees beat Brighton 1-0 last weekend.
The former Barcelona man’s presence has certainly been missed in the centre with the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson playing a slightly deeper role alongside Morgan Schneiderlin but ultimate failing to impress – especially against Liverpool in the FA Cup where they picked up 2/10 and 3/10 ratings respectively in the Liverpool Echo, with the latter being dropped for the following fixture against the Seagulls.
It is certainly not out of the question that Ancelotti’s first-choice pairing when everyone is fit is Gomes and Jean-Philippe Gbamin, who is also starting to train again following a quadriceps injury.
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