André Gomes, along with many others, came to Everton with a lot of fanfare and seemed to indicate a new era where the Toffees could disrupt the top-six. However, not all has gone according to plan or perhaps even how the player expected things to go. 

The Portuguese player came with excellent pedigree. He was a prestigious talent from the fabled Benfica Youth Academy and then snapped up by Barcelona after spending two seasons with Valencia. However, his metronomic style hasn’t adapted well to the English Premier League. 

A lost season for Gomes

This season is Gomes’s fourth in the Premier League, where he was probably hoping to have been a mainstay in the Everton midfield by now. However, his appearances have been as erratic as the Toffees’ performances, with him not being favoured by either manager this season. Since Frank Lampard has taken over from Rafa Benítez, Gomes’s playing time has dropped and become non-existent in their relegation scrap. The bookmakers have the Toffees tipped to stay up in the relegation odds, but anything could happen in the remaining games. 

Gomes likely wasn’t thrilled when Rafael Benítez was appointed at the beginning of the season. He is a defensive coach whose best midfield came on the red side of Merseyside, with the combative Javier Mascherano, the wide-range passing Xabi Alonso and the all-rounder, turned attacking midfielder Steven Gerrard. Gomes doesn’t fit into any of those categories, with his game more predicated on dictating the tempo, maintaining possession and keeping a possessive-based side ticking over. Gomes’s calf injury early in the season never gave him the chance to make an impression and he only completed 90 minutes twice under Benítez.

When Frank Lampard took over as manager in January 2022, he was facing a dog fight and required the right players to overcome the dire situation he was in. Did he think that Gomes had what was needed to help make Everton a winning team? 

Failure to adapt to the English Premier League

Gomes isn’t a bad player; he has 37 caps for Portugal and played for Barcelona when they had the likes of Ivan Rakitić, Andrés Iniesta and Sergio Busquets in midfield. Those things don’t add up to someone who isn’t talented enough for Everton. However, he seems to have befallen something that happens to many players who come to the Premier League, a failure to adapt. 

What is peculiar is that it’s not something that usually happens to Portuguese players in the Premier League. We’ve seen the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva and Cristiano Ronaldo thrive and become world-beaters. They might be different from Gomes, but even the likes of Rúben Neves and João Moutinho have proven to be high-quality performers in the English top flight. The pace, physicality and the reluctance to get ‘stuck in’ may have hampered perceptions or his actual adjustment, which is a shame to see for such a promising player. 

Everton managers’ inability to find a suitable system

Since Gomes has signed for Everton, he has played under four permanent managers, with Duncan Ferguson having two stints as interim manager. Those managers brought a different style with significant adjustments for the squad each time. However, no manager appeared to get the best out of Gomes. It seemed that Carlo Ancelotti would be able to construct a capable midfield with him and Allan, but even with a more defensive player next to him, he couldn’t flourish. What would be best for Gomes now might be to move on; the Premier League might not be for him. A fresh start away from Everton and back on the continent would likely be the best thing for Gomes. 

 

Comments (14)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Gomes is slow, is not aggressive, not a play making, not a leader , rarely had any impact on the game and just another midfielder who passed the ball sideways or backwards to his defenders. Surprised he even got 37 caps for Portugal I feel...

Gomes is slow, is not aggressive, not a play making, not a leader , rarely had any impact on the game and just another midfielder who passed the ball sideways or backwards to his defenders. Surprised he even got 37 caps for Portugal I feel bad for his injury and glad he recovered. Like you stated "isn't a bad player" or in other words isn't a good player either.

Read More
John Senos
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

@John
Totally agree with you. There’s no defining quality that stands out about him. Much like Moutinho for me, I just don’t see the point of taking up another roster spot for guys that can pass the ball backwards and sideways 10 yards.

Is that...

@John
Totally agree with you. There’s no defining quality that stands out about him. Much like Moutinho for me, I just don’t see the point of taking up another roster spot for guys that can pass the ball backwards and sideways 10 yards.

Is that what we’re rewarding here now, are those the standards we have? If you look at Wolves in the epl, they have one of the worst goal scoring ability in the league and Moutinho and Neves are the guys pulling the strings…really think about that. Now defensively they do well in the league but let’s be clear here…we’re already a defensive team under Santos, we don’t need more of the same guys, they’re dead weight.

Read More
Justin/rochester
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I don't know what you are thinking or understanding, the games played by Moutinho at Wolves.

Moutinho has lasted 90 minutes of physical and aggressive football.

JUST DONT BE A CRITIC JUST BECAUSE YOUR B...ls are scratching.

Neville
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Joao Moutinho is brought up yet again. Clearly, he did something to you personally that you can't seem to let go of.

Joao Moutinho individual honours:

2x Taca de Portugal
3x Portuguese League title
1x Europa League winner
2x French Coupe de la...

Joao Moutinho is brought up yet again. Clearly, he did something to you personally that you can't seem to let go of.

Joao Moutinho individual honours:

2x Taca de Portugal
3x Portuguese League title
1x Europa League winner
2x French Coupe de la Ligue winner
1x French League title
1x European Championship (Portugal)
1x Nations League (Portugal)
2012-13 Porto player of the year
2018-19 Wolves player of the year

Yeah, can definitely see how much of a dead weight he is.

Read More
Chris
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

@Chris

You can go to his house and read his kids grades from their report card too for all I care.

He’s 48 years old, slow, short, reckless and good for passing 10 yards.

Why does he need to take up a roster spot when we have William,...

@Chris

You can go to his house and read his kids grades from their report card too for all I care.

He’s 48 years old, slow, short, reckless and good for passing 10 yards.

Why does he need to take up a roster spot when we have William, Danilo, Neves…all guys that can pass the ball backwards 10 yards and foul players? At least they pose a physical threat in some way, Moutinho has zero athleticism.

Instead of Moutinho, why not bring up another exciting prospect from the under 21s in center midfield to bleed him into the team or another Center back etc…?

It’s not about Joao Moutinhos legacy, he can have his flowers, he’s a legend no doubt.

Pointless roster spot for me when we have dozens of young kids with big futures. We’re not Costa Rica with one midfielder for 20 years.

Read More
Justin/rochester
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Your point about bringing in younger players, which is relevant, gets undermined when you consistently go after a guy who is a serial winner and been a big backbone of every team he's ever played on.

As soon as he became a starter for Portugal,...

Your point about bringing in younger players, which is relevant, gets undermined when you consistently go after a guy who is a serial winner and been a big backbone of every team he's ever played on.

As soon as he became a starter for Portugal, we made the Euro semi finals in 2012. He was also our 2nd best player in that tournament.

He was a big part of our Euro Title as well as Nations League.

His time at Porto solidified him as a club legend where he won everything.

At Monaco, he was part of a team that broke PSG's oil stranglehold and even made the Champions League semi-final.

It doesn't matter that you personally don't like him, he's one of Portugal's best 3 players of the last decade (behind Ronaldo and Pepe).

Do I agree that he should not start or that he might also not be selected? Yes, I agree I because I fell form should dictate a Seleccao call up as well as new blood. For my money, Vitinha should be a regular instead at this point.

But when you poo poo one of our best players with one of the highest caps, you just make yourself look silly and undermine your own relevant points.

Read More
Chris
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I truly do not understand all of the slandering of Moutinho. He’s one of our greatest players of all time, the longevity of his career and accomplishments are a testament to that. Accomplishments aside, he’s still valuable and purposeful to our...

I truly do not understand all of the slandering of Moutinho. He’s one of our greatest players of all time, the longevity of his career and accomplishments are a testament to that. Accomplishments aside, he’s still valuable and purposeful to our squad. Forever underrated in my books.

He’s not the player he once was, but is more intelligent than most and still has a significant influence on the pitch. I agree that he likely shouldn’t be starting every game, but he deserves a spot in the squad.

About Gomes…he’s shown flashes of brilliance and his season at Valencia was extremely memorable, especially in that game against Barcelona. He was never going to be a world-class talent, but being under constant scrutiny at Barca and being extremely prone to injuries, his career has panned out in this manner. He’s a smart player though and helped us towards Euro2016. Return to Portugal or go to France or Italy, there may be some decent playing opportunities, but we certainly won’t see him in the Seleçao again.

Read More
Teresa
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Good discussion on Moutinho people. He showed in the playoffs he can still be very useful to this group.

Agree with Chris that he's been Portugal's 3rd best player over its most successful ever period - the two things are not coincidental. Xavi...

Good discussion on Moutinho people. He showed in the playoffs he can still be very useful to this group.

Agree with Chris that he's been Portugal's 3rd best player over its most successful ever period - the two things are not coincidental. Xavi got praised to the hills all over the world, rightly so imo, but I don't think Moutinho was far behind him, if at all. At club level he was outstanding for Sporting, Porto, Monaco & Wolves where, unlike Xavi, he did not have world-class players in every position for team-mates.

I think if Moutinho had played for one of the so-called super clubs perceptions of him would be very different.

Having said all that, Justin is right in saying Portugal do have an incredible array of midfielders to select from right now. Moutinho probably shouldn't start if everyone is fit but I'd definitely take him to Qatar.

Read More
Tom Kundert
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Excuse me Tom..... Are you saying Raul Meireles, Miguel Veloso, Ruben Micael and Hugo Almeida are NOT world class talents????

How dare you!!!

Chris
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

You're just joking here, right?

Xavi had teammates like Messi, Ronaldinho, Iniesta, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Eto'o, Puyol, Pique, Dani Alves, Ibra, David Villa, Deco, Henry, and so on.

You can't compare these guys to Raul Meireles, Miguel Veloso,...

You're just joking here, right?

Xavi had teammates like Messi, Ronaldinho, Iniesta, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Eto'o, Puyol, Pique, Dani Alves, Ibra, David Villa, Deco, Henry, and so on.

You can't compare these guys to Raul Meireles, Miguel Veloso, Ruben Micael or Hugo Almeida. If I'm not mistaken, none of Moutinho's former club teammates ever made it to the UEFA or FIFA Team of the Year, never.

Apart from Raul Meireles' time at Chelsea where he won the Champions League, none of them are world class talents.

Just as Tom said, if Moutinho had played for an elite club, perceptions of him would be very different. Heck, he is still far better than Bruno Fernandes in a Portuguese shirt.

Read More
Dhazer
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

You are correct I was kidding.

Chris
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

If Gomes had all the qualities he's missing, he'd still be at Barcelona.

Arnaldo
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

He obviously has mental issues who prevent him from playing like Tiago Mendes for example. Gomes has all the tools but left Valencia way too soon. Thanks to JJ he had to leave Benfica as he wasnt played enough (JJ hates Portuguese players).

I...

He obviously has mental issues who prevent him from playing like Tiago Mendes for example. Gomes has all the tools but left Valencia way too soon. Thanks to JJ he had to leave Benfica as he wasnt played enough (JJ hates Portuguese players).

I don't see it mentioned here but he did come out and speak about his depression and mental problems at Barca which he had before he went there. He struggles with asserting himself and often passes the ball off instead of driving forward.

The anti-Moutinho crowd need their heads examined. The guy is a warrior and always has been dont blame Moutinho when our "stars" dont show up enough and the coach has to play Moutinho. Namely Bruno F, Renato being injured all the time and the double pivot nonsense. Moutinho is class and always gives 100%.

Read More
Val
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Much better player than Moutinho. Miles ahead. Looking back at this season in his limited appearances he has had game changing performances against Huddersfield, Brighton & Arsenal mostly as a substitute. In Frank Lampard's 1st game in charge MOM...

Much better player than Moutinho. Miles ahead. Looking back at this season in his limited appearances he has had game changing performances against Huddersfield, Brighton & Arsenal mostly as a substitute. In Frank Lampard's 1st game in charge MOM against Brentford. Always a quality player in a possession based team which clearly Everton are not. Therefore he must move on to another club. Dominated Moutinho n Neves when he started against Wolves under Ancelotti and don't forget the screamer he scored against Wolves under Marco Silva.

Read More
Alexinho
There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location

      

“I tried to take advantage of every minute the mister gave me. It wasn’t the result we wanted, we always want to win, but we played a great team with some of the best players in the world and a draw ended up a positive outcome.”

Ricardo Horta
(Portugal’s goalscoring substitute after 1-1 draw against Spain in Seville in the Nations League) 

Partners