Pardon me while I attempt to drag myself away from Andre Gomes’ mesmeric eyes.
Handsome b******, isn’t he?
Like the Portuguese Jon Hamm. Bet he wouldn’t struggle to bag at Infernos.
Anyway back to the football, then.
This is the same bloke who just last season claimed he was ‘too afraid to walk in the street out of shame’ at Barcelona.
He told Panenka magazine: “Maybe it’s not the best word but (life at Barca) has become a bit of a hell, because I started to feel the pressure.
“The feeling that I have during games is bad. Thinking too much hurts me, because I think about the bad things.
“Although my teammates support me a lot, things don’t go for me how they want them to go.”
That last sentence isn’t necessarily true, if you believe the reports.
According to some Barca mouthpieces, Lionel Messi was so disgusted by Gomes’ form he demanded he was sold. He was that bad.
But we’re witnessing a very different man at Everton.
A change of scenery, pastures new, seem to have worked wonders for Gomes, who is emphasising the old adage that form is temporary and class is permanent.
Quietly going about his business in the heart of the Toffees midfield, the 25-year-old has looked a seasoned Premier League pro rather than a foreign newbie.
In a way he’s bucking the trend considering so many La Liga imports before him have tried and failed to adapt to the ferocity of English football.
Gomes was arguably the star attraction during the Merseyside derby, pulling the strings and making the right decisions.
All of Everton’s new summer signings have made an impact, with Richarlison and Lucas Digne particularly settling quickly.
But Gomes provides a completely different dimension, an aura of maturity and guile in midfield that they’ve sorely missed since Mikel Arteta’s departure over seven years ago.
Using the Premier League as a rehabilitation clinic, the misery of Messi seems a long time ago now.
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