Carlo Ancelotti described Andre Gomes as the best player on the pitch when Everton beat Leeds 2-1 at Elland Road.
The performances of Ben Godfrey, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Dominic Calvert-Lewin might have been more eye-catching, but Ancelotti was keen to praise the midfielder.
During an exclusive interview with former Toffee Nigel Martyn, we asked him if he shared Ancelotti’s assessment of the midfielder’s performance.
He lauded Gomes for rediscovering his form and fitness after recovering from his horrific ankle injury.
“He’s a very composed footballer, looks very good on the ball, intelligent and knows which space to run into,” said Martyn of Gomes. “His passing’s very good, his tackling’s very good – he’s a great all-round footballer.
“I can see why Ancelotti who played a similar sort of role would have liked that. He dictated things at times and had a very good game.
“It was a nasty injury and he’s come back from it very quickly. Fair play to him because that’s tough mentally, going into challenges again not knowing what’s going to happen.
“Training is important in that, physios have a bit part to play but having said that it’s the player who has to go out and do it. He’s been starting most games of late – if not coming on – and he looks just about back to 100 per cent.”
“Well done to him for coming back and playing as he is now.”
Gomes’s quality hasn’t ever been in doubt for Everton, but perhaps last season he was struggling with the after effects of his injury.
Now, he’s really flying and the praise from Ancelotti should boost his confidence no-end.
Along with Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure, he probably makes up Everton’s best midfield three. It’s great to see him back to his best, as Martyn says.
Nigel Martyn speaking to Everton News: Archive