Marco Silva says Andre Gomes can get “better and better” for Everton, with the Club providing a perfect environment for the midfielder to unlock his dizzying potential.
Gomes could feature when Silva takes his team to Manchester United on Sunday – seven days after the Portugal international made an accomplished debut in the 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace.
The Everton manager brought in his compatriot on a season-long loan from Barcelona on August’s transfer deadline day after identifying Gomes as the player he wanted to add a fresh dimension to the Blues’ engine room.
And Silva believes the 25-year-old – a European Championship winner with his country two years ago – has been rejuvenated by his move to Goodison Park.
“One of the targets we had for our squad [before the season] was to bring in a midfielder with a different profile from those we had,” Silva told evertontv
“When we had the chance to take a player like Andre on loan from Barcelona, I knew what he needed.
“I had some chats with him before we took him… I know his quality and the support he needs to enjoy his life, to enjoy what he is doing here and the Club and the city.
“Everyone, not just the coach… all his teammates received and welcomed him and that was important to what he is doing now.
“But this is just the beginning. Andre can give many, many different things for us. And good things for us.
“He did well against Crystal Palace and has all the qualities to do better and better. And he is getting more minutes in his legs, which is what he needs.”
Former Benfica man Gomes played 78 matches for Valencia after moving from his homeland in 2014 and helped the La Liga team secure Champions League qualification in his first season at the Mestalla Stadium.
In two years at Barcelona, Gomes featured 78 times and won one league title and two Spanish cups.
He injured a hamstring playing for Barca in a July pre-season match against Tottenham Hotspur, with his return to fitness carefully plotted by Everton’s medical staff.
Gomes, who further captured Evertonians hearts with a fabulous gesture during a Club event
this week, was rewarded for his patience when he was called on against Palace.
An incisive passer of the ball and expert reader of the game, Gomes formed a strong alliance with Idrissa Gana Gueye in the centre of the park.
Everton won that match – their third Premier League success in as many games – courtesy of late goals from substitute pair Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Cenk Tosun.
It was England Under-21 international Calvert-Lewin who broke the deadlock with a powerful finish from Ademola Lookman's chipped delivery for his fourth goal of the campaign – and third with his head.
“Dominic is different from our other strikers, we know if you are creating on the sides and achieving good moments to put the ball in the box, he is really strong," said Silva.
“With his head, he is really strong… it is not the first time he has scored in that way and, for sure, won’t be the last, because he has this capacity, he is really strong in the box.
“He is fast as well. He is working hard every day and has the most difficult things in football, the skills and the talent.
“Now it is a matter of continuing to believe in him and supporting him – and putting big ambition behind him to improve every day.”