Marcel Brands has spoken of the importance of Everton’s ‘one club’ ethos in helping to bring Andre Gomes back to the Blues.
Portugal international midfielder Gomes signed a five-year contract with the Club on Tuesday in a £22m deal from Barcelona, having enjoyed a hugely-impressive loan spell on Merseyside last season.
During that time, Gomes immersed himself in all aspects of the Club. That included holding a hug-a-thon with fans to raise money for Everton in the Community’s proposed mental health facility, The People’s Place, and giving a 10-year-old Blue ‘the best day of his life’ when he made an impromptu trip to Everton One to buy the youngster an Everton jacket and scarf when Gomes noticed he was cold during a bus tour.
After sealing his permanent switch to the Toffees, Gomes said how feeling “part of a family” at Everton made it an “easy decision” for him to commit his future to the Blues.
And Director of Football Brands believes the emphasis for players to embrace the wide range of work across Everton – led by Chief Executive Officer Denise Barrett-Baxendale – is key to helping them settle.
“There are a lot of people working behind the scenes, working hard to help the players feel comfortable, to let them be part of Everton’s family, let them be part of Everton’s community,” said Brands.
“I think we do that well and it’s also important with Denise as our CEO that she really supports that. She is a big example for how Everton should be in our community. She supports that and from day one we tried to manage that with the new players.
“You need the players to be on board with that and they have done very well. Everyone remembers when Andre gave a scarf to a young lad. With that you can steal the hearts of the people and the Everton community. It’s important the players also give their hearts.
Brands added: “It’s the People’s Club and players have to feel at home here. That’s so important and Andre was a big example, like players such as [Yerry] Mina and [Lucas] Digne, who immediately felt at home.
“That was the case with Andre even though he was on loan. That feeling is important and it helps me a lot. The fans show appreciation to a player and that means a lot to them. The fans are happy and I’m also happy with them for their support in this deal.”