One of the few positives for Everton fans following their 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on Monday evening was the return of Jean-Philippe Gbamin from injury.
The midfielder replaced goalscorer James Rodriguez with 10 minutes remaining at Goodison Park.
Gbamin joined Everton in the summer of 2019 but had only made two appearances for the club before last night. He has been through an injury nightmare, sidelined this season by an Achilles tendon rupture following a lengthy hamstring injury last term.
The Ivorian touched the ball 15 times during his cameo, completing six passes and making one tackle and one clearance (via SofaScore).
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Expectations will have to be managed in the coming weeks given the length of his absence. He had last played competitive football 597 days ago, as the official Everton Twitter account noted after the game.
A number of supporters questioned the wisdom of introducing in such a high-stakes situation. Everton went onto surrender their lead, a significant setback to their hopes of finishing of the top four.
Perhaps Carlo Ancelotti ought to have delayed Gbamin’s comeback for a moment when the result was settled – these Toffees on Twitter certainly seemed to think so.
Ancelotti questioned after Gbamin cameo
“Great he is back from 2yrs of injury but should have come on when game was killed off, not at 1-0”
“Nice to have him back. Didn’t think it was the game to bring him on though. I don’t think it was very smart to bring on a player that has been out for so long when only 1-0.”
“Reckon he’ll be a class player when he’s got his match sharpness up. Was poor today but very understandable. As much as I’m happy that he is back, this game was the wrong game to bring him on, especially when Palace was pressing aggressively.”
“Not the best time for trying players. Bad choice from Carlo”
“Was the wrong time to bring him on. At 1-0 it’s just too risky. Not his fault at all, but a bit more experience was needed. I also though bringing Godfrey on for Coleman was the wrong call. Lost all our shape.”
“If we were 5-0 up then yes!”
In other news, Everton must ‘move quickly’ to land this eye-catching bargain.
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