Andre Gomes says he can improve on the terrific performances which lit up Everton’s midfield in his first campaign with the Club.
Portugal international Gomes is in a better spot than at the same stage last term after getting an entire pre-season in his legs and starting Everton’s opening two matches.
He was hurt on day one at Crystal Palace but recovered to play a prominent role in the Blues' 1-0 success over Watford last Saturday.
Gomes is poised for his third start on the bounce at Aston Villa on Friday – his circumstances a far cry from 12 months ago when a hamstring problem delayed the player’s Everton debut until late October.
It is a measure of his impact in six months of action that Evertonians greeted news of Gomes' permanent capture from Barcelona this summer with unmitigated glee.
And the 26-year-old intends to give supporters plenty more to shout about this season.
“I hope so… I am working on that and I want to improve a lot,” Gomes told evertontv.
“I am working hard every day to get better and to help the team
“Last season was difficult at the beginning and I started only at the end of October.
“It is really good to start this season from the beginning.
“I feel comfortable and hope to improve and get better in the next months.”
Gomes dictated long periods of Everton’s meeting with Watford – he was successful with 83.3 per cent of his 36 passes and the 16 precise balls he struck in his opponents' half surpassed the comparative totals of any of his teammates.
He was integral in the Blues pinning back Palace seven days earlier and manager Marco Silva attributed his side losing their rhythm after half-time at Selhurst Park to the enforced withdrawal of Gomes.
The influential former Benfica player started 24 times in the Premier League last term following his loan switch from the Nou Camp and rifled a goal-of-the-season contender against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Goodison Park.
Gomes’s previous campaign – with Barcelona in 2017/18 – was disrupted at the outset by a combination of injury and illness.
Indeed, the last time Gomes was primed from day one of a season in 2014/15 he was unbeaten in his first 10 league games for new club Valencia – winning seven.
Operating from a position of strength this term, Gomes is keen to help smooth the integration of Everton’s seven summer signings – including Jean-Philippe Gbamin, the Ivory Coast international who he partnered in a new-look midfield against Watford.
“It is too early to say what impact this pre-season will have but I think it will benefit me, it is really important," said Gomes, who penned a five-year deal when he joined from Barca in June.
“I had two or three years without a full pre-season and I was happy to start from day one with the boys this year.
“Of course [I can help the new players settle] but it is not only me.
“The dressing room is really good.
“We have fantastic experience and we are all working together to bring the new boys into the group and help them feel comfortable.
“I think the new players are all happy and we have a really strong team.”
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