Soccer

Andre Gomes enjoying life at Everton

Andre Gomes says he is enjoying life at Everton but any decision on making his loan move from Barcelona permanent will have to wait until the end of the season.

The Portugal international moved to Goodison Park last summer following a difficult two seasons at Barcelona, however, injury delayed the start of his Everton career.

The 25-year-old finally got his chance against Crystal Palace, impressing in the 2-0 win at Goodison Park before putting in another promising display in the 2-1 defeat at Manchester United last weekend.

And Gomes wants to build on his excellent start to life at Everton, focussing on football rather than his long-term future.

When asked if he would like to make his loan move to Everton permanent, he told Sky Sports: “We need to discuss that at the end of the season of course with Everton, with Barcelona and see if Everton are happy with me. That is really important.

“But I’m enjoying it here with my new team-mates, with the team, with the fans and with the staff. I’m really happy right now and I want to keep it like that until the end of the season and give my best. Then at the end of the season we will decide.”

Everton had a Deadline Day to remember in August with Gomes one of three incomings on the final day of the summer transfer window alongside his former Barcelona team-mate Yerry Mina and Bernard from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Gomes arrived on a season-long loan deal from the Nou Camp and he revealed Marco Silva and former Everton captain Phil Neville, who he worked with at Valencia, played a key role in his move to Merseyside.

“Marco [Silva] was really important because he’s the manager,” he said. “If you feel like the manager trusts you and he wants to help you, you feel good with that.

“Phil [Neville] was also really important because we’ve worked together before. We are really good friends and he played here for many years. He was important in understanding the club and knowing how it works here. I was happy to have spoken with both.”

Gomes missed the first eight games of the Premier League season with a hamstring injury he picked up in pre-season in Barcelona’s International Champions Cup clash against Tottenham.

But after featuring against Crystal Palace and playing the full 90 minutes against Manchester United, the Portuguese midfielder thinks there is still more to come as he builds towards full fitness.

He said: “Normally I criticise myself a lot but for now, it’s only two games. I want to play really good the next opportunity I have to play. I want to keep going, improving and getting better.

“It’s also only my first two games, my first three or four weeks with the team working at 100 per cent so I’m getting better and fitter. I just want to enjoy the game, enjoy the fans and enjoy with my team-mates. I hope to do everything that I can to help the team win the next game.”

Everton’s next game is against Brighton on Saturday at Goodison Park and they will be hoping to return to winning ways after United ended their run of three straight wins in the league.

Currently ninth, Silva’s side’s recent form has increased expectation amongst the fans at Goodison Park but Gomes was cautious when asked about the club’s chances of a top-six finish.


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“Everton fans want to hear yes [for a top six finish] but I want to be calm,” he said. “I think we should enjoy every game until the end of the season.

“We are confident that we can do really good things but we also know the big rivals at the top are difficult to beat.

“If we want to think big and enjoy we have to be positive and I think Everton are working on this target. As a team we are getting stronger and getting better game by game.”

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