Gbamin return could be big boost for Everton

Jean-Philippe Gbamin (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
Jean-Philippe Gbamin (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images) /

After a series of welcome news stories this morning on injured Everton players, there are further positive developments on a player who’s become almost a forgotten man at Goodison Park; Jean-Philippe Gbamin.

We’ve occasionally visited this story a few times in the past months and today comes more news that fingers crossed, at long  last, the Ivory Coast player is perhaps edging closer to a return to the Everton team.

Apparently Gbamin is in France at a training camp there working on his strength and fitness ahead of a return to England and the Toffees facilities at Finch Farm.

The former Mainz midfielder has had, to put it mildly, an unlucky time since he moved to Everton in the summer of 2019 as a big money replacement for Idrissa Gueye.

In fact to be more accurate he’s almost appeared to be cursed over the last twelve months with three serious injuries in succession since he joined the club, restricting him to barely more than a single game of playing time in royal blue.

Frankly after his run of injuries, I wouldn’t blame him if he never wanted to set foot in Merseyside again! Let’s hope though that he doesn’t feel that way.

I’m certain that his absence from the team for basically the whole season was a significant factor in the abject failure of the Blues campaign in 2019-20 and Marco Silva’s eventual sacking.

In particular, the failure of the team’s midfield to get a grip of so many games, resulted in some shockingly limp and embarrassing defeats.

You can look at all that in two ways. One, is that obviously all Evertonians would have liked a better season from the team than we endured last time round.

But you could also say that had the crisis not been reached as it was in December, Silva might not have gone and Everton almost certainly wouldn’t have Carlo Ancelotti in charge today.

As I’ve mentioned before, if Gbamin does ever come back, it will be like a brand new signing and I think it could give the Toffees a boost at just the time when they might well need it.

So far this season has gone better than Blues fans could have realistically hoped. However, in last Sunday’s defeat at Southampton we saw a bit of the old Everton of last year re-surface in a performance that lacked energy, quality and determination.

Part of the reason for that is that the Toffees midfield after starting in such a dominant fashion in the season’s early games, hasn’t been quite as effective since the return of the Premier League after the international break.

That’s not to say that Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure have suddenly become bad players by any means. But perhaps they are a little under par at the moment, especially Allan who is coming back from a recent injury.

More from Prince Rupert's Tower

In addition, Andre Gomes has faded in recent matches and didn’t play last weekend being replaced in the starting eleven by Gylfi Sigurdsson.

So having another central midfielder with the pace, power and defensive qualities of Gbamin, who’s also fresh and determined to finally get his Everton career going, would be a major boost.

In addition, the Ivory Coast player is also very comfortable operating in central defence where the Blues have plenty of options but also a lot of injury-prone players.

Gbamin’s return would allow Ancelotti to rotate his players and give Allan and/or Doucoure a break ever so often as well as offering him some additional tactical flexibility.

Next. More good news on Everton defenders. dark

The timetable for his rehabilitation would see him probably able to come into the team by the end of next month or early December. That could be ideal to help the Blues maintain a push in the new year for a trophy and European football.