Bernard may have been Everton’s Man of the Match against Watford, but Jean-Philippe Gbamin’s performance should have been just as encouraging for Marco Silva.
The 23-year-old admitted that he struggled during Everton’s 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace in their season opener after replacing the injured Andre Gomes just before half-time, as reported by the official Everton website.
It seems as though an extra week with his new teammates has done the Ivorian plenty of good.
He was effective defensively, completing three tackles, three interceptions and one clearance – this is encouraging considering he will need to fill the void left by Idrissa Gueye as much as possible, after the Senegal international went to Paris Saint Germain following a season in which he made 4.3 tackles, 2.2 interceptions and 1.3 clearances per game.
The 23-year-old saw more of the ball than any other Everton player, having 5.3% of the game’s overall possession and completed two dribbles.
However, one thing he will need to improve on as he continues under Silva is his pass completion rate, which was 67% during this game.
While this was not a complete performance from Gbamin, or even the best one on the pitch, it was certainly encouraging.
Considering the lack of pre-season he had due to the African Cup of Nations and his limited time at Everton, perhaps he was bound to take a while to warm up, so the fact he has seen such a big improvement in one extra week is a good sign.
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