Friday, August 19, 2022

Everton Midfielder Back In Training Ahead Of The Merseyside Derby: Big Boost For The Toffees?

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Abhinab Ghosh
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.

In a recent interview with Everton‘s official website, Carlo Ancelotti has stated that Andre Gomes is back in training ahead of the Merseyside derby against Liverpool at Goodison Park on Sunday evening. The Italian tactician said (via, “Andre Gomes is training with the team so he is not going to have a problem for Sunday.”

This latest update will come as a welcome boost for the Toffees heading into their crucial Premier League showdown versus the Reds later this weekend. Ancelotti’s men are in with an outside chance to secure European football for next season, so they will be desperate for the three points which will also halt Liverpool’s march towards the league title in the process.

Gomes’ Injury-Struck Season At Merseyside

Gomes endured a serious injury against Tottenham Hotspur back in November last year which has kept him out of action for a significant chunk of this campaign. The Portuguese midfielder has made 12 appearances for the Merseyside outfit this term but is yet to score or assist a goal across all competitions.

The 26-year-old has shown a few signs of promise at the heart of the Everton midfield during his short time on the pitch this season after averaging 0.9 tackles, 0.5 key passes, 3.7 long balls and 1.5 dribbles per game in the English top-flight so far. However, what has made him such a fan-favourite at Goodison Park is his ability to keep possession ticking in midfield. Gomes has completed 84.1% of his attempted passes in league football which shows just how efficient he can be with the ball on the field (stats via whoscored).

Everton's Gomes back in training ahead of the Merseyside derby (Andre Gomes is receiving a yellow card in the picture)
Andre Gomes of Everton is shown a yellow card during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Everton FC at Villa Park on August 23, 2019, in Birmingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

The ex-Valencia talent has also earned 29 senior caps for the Portuguese national team but is yet to open his goal-scoring account for his country. If Gomes can find a way to rediscover his old form in the upcoming campaign, then he might have a shot of securing a place in Fernando Santos’ squad for next year’s UEFA European Championship finals.

What Are The Portugal International’s Best Attributes?

Gomes has been an ideal utility player at the centre of the park during his spell at Goodison Park. He is a tough-tackling midfielder who can also play some neat passes to his teammates without breaking a sweat. The Portuguese playmaker can also use his football intelligence to make a few clever runs with the ball in the opposition half. However, the 26-year-old needs to add more end-product to his game if he wants to prove his worth in the Premier League.

Gomes Back In Training And Could Be In Line To Face Liverpool: Big Boost For Ancelotti?

If the Toffees are to find any joy versus Jurgen Klopp’s men, then they will need a midfielder of Gomes’ technical quality to retain possession for them when under pressure from the high press of the Liverpool players on Sunday.

Having Gomes back ahead of the derby will be a massive boost for Ancelotti as he will now have more variety in his midfield department heading into this weekend. With Fabian Delph, a major doubt for the upcoming clash, the Portuguese midfield ace’s return will be a timely one for Everton as he would be able to slot in seamlessly in Ancelotti’s first-team.

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