Andre Gomes’ ankle injury against Crystal Palace on Saturday meant Jean-Philippe Gbamin was thrust on for his debut.
The former Mainz midfielder was brought on shortly before half time, eight days after joining the club in a summer where he had a short preseason, having represented Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations, as reported by Everton’s official website.
In an interview that was published on Monday, Gbamin told evertontv: “It was hard to come in like that – a great game with high intensity, I tried to give my best on the pitch and it was difficult in some moments. The coach gave me the chance to play and I wanted to take it.
“I am not 100% ready to be at a high level just yet – and I need to be faster, I have had only one week of training with the team, so I will keep going and work very hard.”
Gbamin was given an overall rating of 6.2 by WhoScored for his performance in the game.
What is perhaps the biggest indicator that the 23-year-old was struggling with the pace of the game is that he was dispossessed twice – for context, Richarlison and Bernard were the only players on the pitch who were dispossessed more and they were much more progressive, being wingers, while also being on the pitch longer.
An encouraging sign is that he didn’t shy away from having the ball, as he actually had marginally greater possession throughout the game than Gomes did, having 3.9% compared to the Portuguese midfielder’s 3.7%.
Though he was only able to maintain a pass success rate of 77%, which doesn’t compare well to Gomes’ 87% and Morgan Schneiderlin’s 89%.
Gbamin’s main defensive contributions were that he attempted and completed one tackle, while he also made one interception.
The numbers he recorded for tackles, passing accuracy and being dispossessed were all adverse to his averages from the 2018/19 Bundesliga season – though it is understandable that this is the case, as he is still adapting to Everton and the Premier League.
Gbamin did struggle against Palace, but this shouldn’t be taken out of context and become a big cause for concern.
He is still in the stage of adapting to life in the Premier League after having a disrupted preseason and it was far from a disastrous performance.
With Gomes’ injury status currently uncertain, it seems as though Gbamin could be given another chance to show what he’s got when Everton face Watford on Saturday.
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