'His ability...' - Everton boss hails secret weapon after impressive Newcastle United display

Everton boss Sean DycheEverton boss Sean Dyche
Everton boss Sean Dyche | Getty Images
Everton vs Burnley: The Everton midfielder has struggled with injuries this season and has started just one Premier League game.

Everton boss Sean Dyche has praised Andre Gomes and hopes he can return to their starting line up ahead of Burnley.

Gomes, 30, is out of contract in the summer and could well leave the club in the summer but, according to Dyche, he could have a vital role to play in the club’s final eight games. Having featured off the bench in their last four games it is the first time this season he has been able to put together a run of games.

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Against Newcastle, he was assured on the ball and brought an air of quality that we’ve seen on a few occasions this season; fans will remember his brilliant showing, and goal, against Tottenham earlier in the season. He managed one key pass and completed 86% of his passes and it’s clear he boasts the best technical ability out of any of Everton’s midfielders.

Speaking ahead of Burnley this weekend, Dyche, when asked about the possibility of Gomes starting and what qualities he could bring to his side said: “He’s a very assured football, that’s for sure.” He began. “With his ability and he’s a knowledgeable footballer and a very good professional and he’s been very unfortunate. I made it clear to him when it was an odd period where it wasn’t clear if he was staying or going and I said as long as he’s here then he would be a part of what I want to do and how we’re going to play.

“Keeping him fit has been a challenge and he’s been very frustrated with that and then, once he’s become fit, pushing him harder to get him fully fit without breaking him, of course, that has been important and I think he’s getting there. I spoke to him last week about getting him more minutes, possibly starting and he feels good about himself and that he’s in a good place and that’s another person we feel can be very effective because he is a very good player.”

Whether he can feature from the start is another question. The most likely midfield trio is Amadou Onana, James Garner and Abdoulaye Doucoure - who are a ‘tried and tested’ midfield contingent. Idrissa Gueye started against Newcastle and his energy could be necessary against a Burnley side who look to press high but it is more likely that Gomes will be a second-half substitute. If he does start, there’s little chance he could last the full 90 minutes but there’s no doubt his experience and quality can make a big difference in what is a huge game for both sides.

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