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Key takeaways from Everton’s 3-2 defeat against Arsenal

Everton and Carlo Ancelotti will have been bitterly disappointed not to take anything from their match away at Arsenal on Sunday, as in the end they were left to contemplate what could have been following a 3-2 defeat at the Emirates Stadium.

Here, we take a look at three things the Toffees learned from the match.

Andre Gomes’ timely return

Finally, after 14 Premier League matches out of the action due to a horrific injury, Andre Gomes is back for the Toffees. Heung-min Son may have been distraught by the part he played in Gomes’ setback, but that will be of little use to the player and, of course, to the club who have missed him so dearly.

The 26-year-old, who joined permanently from Barcelona last summer after a year-long loan spell at Goodison Park, has been a regular over the past two campaigns, featuring in 27 matches last season as well as seven of the first 11 this time around.

Given the severity of the injury, it is remarkable that he is already back and able to participate, and the speed of his return shows how important he is to the Merseyside outfit.

His re-emergence to the side is a timely one, especially considering the performance of Morgan Schneiderlin this weekend. The former Manchester United man won just two of his ground duels and was also dribbled past three times as he registered a SofaScore rating of 6.1.

The 30-year-old has been in and out of the team this campaign, but with Gomes now back in contention, he has limited time to prove himself.

This display will have done nothing to boost his cause.

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Solution to Sigurdsson’s slump?

Last season, Gylfi Sigurdsson was in stunning form for Everton – he played in every single Premier League match, and managed 13 goals and six assists in the process. However, this campaign, he has been a shadow of his former self, managing just one goal and two assists in 24 games. Even under the Ancelotti, the Iceland international has been unable to rediscover his previous level of performance.

On Sunday, though, there were glimpses of his ability. Only Richarlison managed more from than his three key passes for the Toffees, which indicates an increase from the 1.9 he has averaged per game this season.

What is perhaps even more interesting is that this display came on the left wing, a position he has played in on just one other occasion this term.

It is somewhere he has found himself on a number of occasions in his career, according to Transfermarkt, with a return of 18 goals and 14 assists to show from the 79 matches he has played there.

Whilst he may be best in the number 10 role, a tweak to his position could help him rediscover the creative edge that was so useful for Everton last season.

┬áPickford’s England spot in danger

There has been plenty of debate surrounding Jordan Pickford in recent weeks, with many even suggesting that his spot in Gareth Southgate’s starting England XI for Euro 2020 should be reconsidered.

His form this term has been questionable – only Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga (53.6%) has a worse save percentage ratio than the former Sunderland man’s 59.8%. His display against Arsenal will have done little to allay any of those fears – he managed just one save during the match, and one mistake almost led to a goal for Mikel Arteta’s men.

Should Pickford still be England's number one?

Yes

Yes

No

No

It is not as though Southgate does not have someone else to turn to in goal for the Three Lions – Sheffield United’s Dean Henderson has been fantastic for the Blades as they make their push for European football.

With a save percentage ratio himself of 75%, he finds himself second in the Premier League only behind Liverpool’s Alisson. Given that Pickford was the first-choice as England made the World Cup semi-finals in 2018, he may have enough credit in the bank to keep the manager’s trust.

Each passing poor display, though, will only strengthen Henderson’s case.

Article title: Key takeaways from Everton’s 3-2 defeat against Arsenal

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