Pundit urges ‘off the pace’ Everton man to ‘show a lot more’

Jason Soutar
Everton midfielder Jean-Phillipe Gbamin warming up

Everton midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin must “show a lot more” at Goodison Park, according to former left-back Michael Ball.

Gbamin has massively struggled with injuries since moving to Merseyside from Mainz in 2019.

The Ivorian cost the Toffees €25million, but has only managed five appearances for the Premier League side.

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He played Everton’s opening two fixtures in 2019/20 before sustaining a leg injury in training.

Gbamin recovered from the issue in April, but the season had been postponed by that point due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 26-year-old then ruptured his Achilles tendon – again in training – to rule him out for a year.

In 20/21, Gbamin made one appearance, featuring for 11 minutes against Crystal Palace in April.

However, he suffered another long-term injury, this time to the medial collateral ligament in his knee.

The former Mainz midfielder has made two appearances so far this term, playing 90 minutes in the second round of the Carabao Cup against Huddersfield Town.

His second match of 21/22 came on Monday evening as Everton were beaten 2-1 at Wolves.

Gbamin started the match, replacing the injured Abdoulaye Doucoure. However, he was hauled off at half-time after a disappointing performance.

“Doucoure is a man mountain, and he does the running for two people. So, when he’s not there, we need to pack that midfield,” Ball wrote in his Liverpool Echo column.

“We need to get an extra man in there and sacrifice a place somewhere else as we keep getting overrun.

“One of the midfield pair [against Wolves] was Gbamin, who has come in for a lot of money and has had a difficult time with injuries to say the least. I know what that’s like – it’s tough both mentally and physically.

“He looked very slow and off the pace, so it was no surprise that he got taken off after 45-minutes. If he wants to make a name for himself, he’s got to show a lot more. I think playing two in midfield would have been a big ask even if he was fully fit.”