Ancelotti Reveals This Everton Midfielder Is In Line To Start Vs Arsenal: Massive Boost For The Toffees?

Everton's Portuguese midfielder André Gomes (L) vies with Bournemouth's Colombian midfielder Jefferson Lerma during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Bournemouth at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on January 13, 2019. (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

In a recent interview (via The Liverpool Echo), Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has provided a positive update on Andre Gomes’ return when he said,

“He did well [in the weekend practice match], he played comfortably and without any problems and he is available, in my opinion, to play.

“Of course, I have to speak to him about how he feels after playing his first game following a long time out.

“My personal opinion is he is ready to play.

“When a player has been out for a long period, I think it is better to start the game.

“He can prepare properly, [rather] than to put him on from the bench.

“But I have to speak to him and together we can find a solution.”

The Italian tactician’s latest comments will be a welcome boost for everyone associated with the Merseyside club. They missed the presence of the Portuguese midfielder since the beginning of November when he suffered a fracture-dislocation of his right ankle during the showdown against Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park.

Gomes’ Importance At Goodison Park

Fortunately, Gomes has made a speedy recovery and was involved in a behind-closed-doors match at Finch Farm on Sunday. Gomes was a constant presence in Marco Silva’s midfield in the previous campaign and displayed a few signs of progress prior to his injury as well.

Despite struggling to find the back of the net in the nine games he has played this season, Gomes managed to help out his teammates at both ends of the pitch. He has averaged 1.0 tackles, 0.8 key passes and 1.4 dribbles per 90 minutes with a pass success rate of 83.4% in the English top-flight (stats via whoscored). The 26-year-old’s numbers prove that he has been a jack of all trades for the Toffees this term but there is no denying that he needs to figure out a way to be more effective in the final third.

The ex-Valencia talent has also earned 29 international caps for the Portuguese national team. So this could be an excellent opportunity for him to make a successful comeback and stake a claim for a place in his nation’s squad for the UEFA Euro 2020 that is set to kick off later this year.

What Can The Portugal International Offer On The Field?

Gomes has decent pace and can make some driving runs with the ball from midfield. He can keep the ball moving without throwing away possession and is generally quite accurate with his passing. The Portugal international shows a lot of desire to go in with a few tackles to win the ball back for his side. On his day, Gomes can be a dominant presence at the centre of the park, but there is no hiding from the fact that he needs to improve his productivity going forward.

Andre Gomes In Line To Start Vs Arsenal: Huge Boost For The Merseysiders?

The Toffees have had their fair share of injury concerns in recent months with Jean-Philippe Gbamin also sidelined for a long time which has derailed their progress in the Premier League this season. Hence, Gomes’ timely return will be a massive boost for Ancelotti and his quest to mastermind a top 6 finish in the league table.

Gomes’ availability will give Everton more variety in midfield that could help them turn some draws into wins in the coming weeks. Fabian Delph, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Morgan Schneiderlin and Tom Davies have all struggled to find consistency with their performances on the pitch. Hence, it is no surprise that Ancelotti is willing to hand Gomes a start rather than ease him back into the first-team.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.