Andre Gomes thanked his teammates, the Club’s staff and Evertonians for their unstinting support during his recovery from ankle surgery after the Portuguese midfielder made an impressive first-team comeback against Arsenal on Sunday.
The 26-year-old played the final 30 minutes of the clash at Emirates Stadium.
Having been introduced with Everton 3-2 behind, his expansive passing and positive intent came to the fore as the Blues hunted an equaliser.
Everton created a number of opportunities but were ultimately left frustrated as the home team survived a late spell of persistent Toffees pressure.
Gomes fractured his ankle in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park on 3 November, with his return to action against Arsenal coming just 112 days later.
He was afforded a rousing ovation from the Everton supporters after his introduction at Arsenal and he says their enthusiastic backing provided extra motivation during his rehabilitation.
“All the team and staff at Everton were great and all of the Evertonians,” he said.
“It gave me confidence and made me feel like I have the support of the people.
“I pushed myself to the limit to be back as soon as possible.
“I need to thank everybody.
“Also, the general football supporters, other professional players and ex-professionals. I have to thank them because they have been wonderful.
“I am glad I had the help of everybody around me.”
Everton’s attacking threat at Arsenal was highlighted by the fact the Blues has 17 efforts on goal, compared to the home side’s nine.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison were on target for Carlo Ancelotti’s side but a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang double and a strike from Eddie Nketiah meant Arsenal took maximum points from the contest.
“I think we did a good game but we conceded a few chances for Arsenal,” said Gomes.
“We need to look forward and for the next games. We have three tough games coming next and we want to be ready.
“We had a lot of chances, especially in the last 20 minutes.
“I am so glad to be back in the team, to help everybody to reach what we want. We have big goals.
“The feeling is really good. It is not the result I wanted on my comeback. But I am happy to be back and to help the team.”