On Tuesday, Everton completed the £22million signing of Portuguese midfielder Andre Gomes from Barcelona. The 25-year-old made 29 appearances for the Toffees last season during a successful loan spell on Merseyside.
The Toffees ex-Barcelona colony remains three, as they already have ex-Blaugrana stars Lucas Digne and Yerry Mina among their ranks.
Rumours of the Toffees adding Brazilian forward Malcom to that growing number are as of yet unconfirmed. Although it would seem like an ideal move for all parties. Anyway, back Gomes. He is a real bargain for Everton at £22million in these days of crazy transfer fees and could turn out to be a key signing for the Toffees.
Everton tantalisingly close to the next level
Like most Everton fans I accept that we are not quite at the same level as the top-six in the Premier League. However, the final few months of last season showed that the team are starting to gel under Portuguese boss Marco Silva.
We witnessed the team actually playing good football and winning matches. They comfortably beat the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United at Goodison Park. Those teams were certainly not better than ours, in fact, some were quite lucky to escape without heavier beatings.
Those result hinted that Everton are close to the next level. However, unfortunately, we know as Evertonian’s it’s the hope that kills us and we have been here lots of times before, just ask any Liverpool fans if you want to know about our failures.
The sort of player Everton needs
When Everton played well last season, Gomes seemed to thrive. When the team’s form dipped, so did the midfielders. However, he produced some fine displays that showed him to be a Rolls Royce of a central midfielder.
He is not perfect by any means, but he is the sort of player that Everton needs to sign. As we are not in the Champions League, we cannot attract the best players in the world. That means shopping a few levels below.
The club are by no means skint as in the distant past. However, in director of football Marcel Brands, they have a shrewd operator, whose ability to bring in the right players has already impressed at Everton.
To sign a player of Gomes quality for £22million plus add-ons is stellar work from the Dutchman. I say a player of Gomes calibre because Barcelona had high hopes for the midfielder prior to his move to Merseyside.
However, Gomes struggled to settle in Catalonia and talked about finding the mental side of the game difficult at one of the worlds biggest clubs. The 25-year-old seems like he plays his best football when at his happiest.
The midfielder has been embraced by the Goodison faithful and he has embraced them. If he cannot rediscover his top form on Merseyside with the love of the Evertonian’s, he will never rediscover it.
Aiming for the top-six next season
Everton finished last season in eighth place. However, if it were not for a horrible few months in the middle of the campaign, they could easily have been on the coattails of the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal.
The general opinion seems to be that Everton, along with the likes of Wolves, Leicester and West Ham have a chance of cracking the top-six next season. The Toffees are currently odds of 7/2 to secure a top-six finish in season 2019/20.
Looking at the situations of the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and even Chelsea, it is not unrealistic to see a team break the status quo at the top of the English top-flight next season. Obviously, I hope that team is Everton.
Gomes is likely to be just the start of a busy summer for the Blues in the transfer market. There is a need for a new right-back, forward and wide player. I am sure Mr Brands is busy working behind the scenes on details right now.
For me, signing Gomes on a permanent deal seems to be the start of something special for Everton. After a number of false dawns, Evertonian’s are getting excited about their team and can see a brighter future. Long may it continue!
Will Andre Gomes turn out to be a bargain for Everton?
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