Carlo Ancelotti has hailed the willpower of Jean-Philippe Gbamin after the midfielder made his long-awaited return from injury, speaking to Everton TV.
Gbamin came on for the final 11 minutes of the Toffees’ 1-1 Premier League draw with Crystal Palace last night.
It was his first taste of competitive action since August 2019 having been sidelined with severe hamstring and Achilles problems.
The return of Gbamin was a welcome sight for Everton fans and relief for the player, who joined the Toffees from Mainz for £25m (BBC Sport) shortly before his long lay-off.
Ancelotti grateful for Gbamin’s recovery
Ancelotti was quick to recognise Gbamin’s efforts in overcoming his disastrous start at Everton.
The Toffees manager said: “Jean-Philippe has a great desire to play.
“He is training now normally with the others, showing good quality. He can play without any problems, I think.”
And Ancelotti thinks the return of Gbamin will be like a new signing for Everton.
He said: “(Gbamin) is a good guy. He is calm and focused and has all the qualities – technically and physically – of a top midfielder.
“This season we have to be patient with him. He was out for a long time. But he is here, and he is working well. He will be important for us.
“With a strong character, he can be a top midfielder in the future.”
Misery move from Mainz
Gbamin arrived at Goodison Park with a great reputation. He played 95 times for Mainz and 98 games for Lens before moving to England.
The 25-year-old also has 12 international caps for Ivory Coast.
Gbamin was signed to replace Idrissa Gueye, the Senegal international who established himself as one of the Premier League’s finest midfield disrupters before moving to Paris Saint-Germain.
Unfortunately, Gbamin has been unable to flex his footballing muscles on Merseyside – until now.
Everton fans retain hopes of going on a European tour next season. Gbamin’s return might just be the push to get them over the line.
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