Just over three months after what had seemed a season-ending injury, Andre Gomes is in line for an incredible return to first team football and a starting place for Everton against Arsenal this weekend.
The recovery of the Portuguese midfielder is almost miraculous and its hard to believe he will be ready to play for Everton again in just a few days time. And not just that but, according to reports, Carlo Ancelotti is ready to start him at the Emirates!
It’s another huge boost for the Blues and follows the great run of form the side have experienced since Ancelotti took over in December. I’m sure the vast majority of fans will be very glad to see the silky smooth and skilful Gomes back and ready to play again.
I sincerely hope that starting him isn’t rushing things, but then who am I to argue with Carlo Magnifico! He obviously believes that Gomes is more than ready to return straight away.
To have him back will be very welcome given the trials and tribulations that the Toffees have had in midfield this season. Gomes will hopefully be able to bring some of that class and composure that he possesses to the Everton engine room..
Turning to the latest rumours of comings and goings, the Blues are being linked with yet another centre-back playing his trade in Europe, this time a certain Marash Kumballa.
There are stories that have originated in Italy claiming Everton could be one of the clubs interested in the Hellas Verona central defender.
Kumballa is Albanian, which would I think make the first player from his country to play in the English Premier League were he to move here in the summer (although I could be mistaken).
He seems like a very strong all-round defender and again he’s also young at 20-years-old and so that fits in with the transfer strategy of Marcel Brands.
Well anyway we’ll see and all the usual caveats apply of course about this story!
To be honest, I’m personally not sure that Everton necessarily need to think about signing another 20-something centre-back this summer.
After all Mason Holgate has continued to mature into a fine player, who is also versatile enough to play effectively in the middle of the park. I think he has done more than enough to earn a starting place in the team and his usual partner, Yerry Mina, has also had a very solid season.
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And while Michael Keane isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, he was certainly effective alongside Kurt Zouma during the latter half of last season and I think would be if he played with Holgate, who has similar pace to balance Keane’s lack of it.
Then there are also young defenders Lewis Gibson, currently impressing on loan at Fleetwood Town, and January signing Jarred Branthwaite, both of whom would presumably come into contention.
Finally don’t forget about Jean-Philippe Gbamin, although given how little Toffees fans have seen of him, I wouldn’t blame you! If he ever returns from injury, he can also play centre-back and does so regularly for his national team.
So if the Blues could manage without having to bring in another central defender, that would obviously save funds to spend strengthening other, perhaps more pressing areas of the team.