With less than a week to go before Everton kick off their Premier League campaign at Tottenham, the Blues have another injury to deal with as Andre Gomes has picked up a knock on international duty.
According to a Portuguese media group on Twitter, Gomes has been forced out of the Portugal squad to play Sweden in the Nations League and will return to England. He may now not be fit to play for Everton this weekend.
This latest injury setback comes just two days after Mason Holgate limped off during the club’s final pre-season game against Preston North End.
At the moment, as with Holgate, it’s unclear what the exact nature of Gomes’s injury is, but it’s yet another unwelcome distraction for Carlo Ancelotti as he tries to get all his new signings over the line and prepares for that match away at Spurs on Sunday.
I have to say I’m perplexed as to why it is that Everton players seem to be so vulnerable to picking up injuries? It seems to be a constant problem with the Toffees team, regardless of who is the first-team manager or on the coaching staff.
In both these cases, the two players involved have only just come back from injury so that obviously might be a factor in their latest setbacks. But it seems to be a problem that never gets any easier.
Whatever the cause, or if it’s just plain bad luck, it is something that plagues the club and it means a constant series of player absences to deal with.
In the last twelve months we’ve had Jean-Philippe Gbamin injured not once but three times and miss virtually an entire season, Yerry Mina suffering several problems that have kept him out for weeks and injuries to Bernard, Fabian Delph, Theo Walcott, Cenk Tosun, Gomes and Holgate. Now both Holgate and Gomes are hurt again!
Gomes didn’t have a particularly good 2019-20 campaign, he struggled without his midfield helpmate Idrissa Gueye and his form was very inconsistent throughout the season.
During the season he also suffered that serious ankle break against, ironically enough, Spurs, back in November last year. This kept him out of the side until just before the Covid lockdown forced the Premier League to suspend the season.
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I felt at the time that perhaps he came back a little bit too quickly and in truth he’s not looked the same player since then.
However, despite all that, it’s still likely that the Portuguese player would have featured heavily in Ancelotti’s new-look midfield, especially early on, as his new signings settle in.
It’s just as well that the Blues are signing those three new midfielders, as it looks like they might need all of them a bit sooner than expected.
Talking about those new midfielders, there are further complications in the negotiations over the signing of Abdoulaye Doucoure.
According to reports in the media today, Everton are still ironing out some legal details with Watford and the player before the deal can finally go through.
Whatever the exact nature of these issues are, let’s just hope that they can be sorted out asap and that Doucoure might be an Everton player in time for the trip to north London on Sunday.