It should be no coincidence that September saw Everton slump in the league when Andre Gomes was ruled out for the majority of the month.
The Portuguese international picked up a rib injury during the 3-2 win over Wolves at the start of the last month, Everton’s last Premier League win to date, that ruled Gomes out for the remainder of September which saw the Toffees go on a three-game losing streak in the English top-flight, including an embarrassing 2-0 defeat at home to Sheffield United.
Yet after over a month out on the injury table, the former Barcelona man is back as Marco Silva confirmed in Thursday’s pre-match press conference via The Liverpool Echo.
Although Gomes is available for selection and will travel with the squad to Turf Moor, the Everton boss will be wise to not rush his talismanic midfielder back into the starting XI.
But why should Gomes remain off the field despite being fit?
After all, the summer signing has been as influential to Everton this season as he was last year, with ratings from WhoScored showing that Gomes’ impact on the pitch seemingly led the Toffees’ to their only two league victories this campaign, with the midfielder picking up a 7.07 rating in the fixture against Wolves.
As well as an average pass completion rate of 82.9% to go along with his average 51.3 passes per game, Everton have missed this progressive and efficient ballplayer in the centre of their midfield, yet despite these impressive feats, Silva would be smart not to rush Gomes back into the starting side immediately, in large part as not to agitate the Portuguese playmaker’s injury that has kept him out for a month.
Everton have missed the influence of Gomes in the midfield, yet to hurry him back after missing four games of the seasons will be a foolish error from Silva’s part that could see the former Barcelona man back out on the sidelines if he is not careful.