Noel Whelan stressed it will take time for Andre Gomes to be back to his best in an Everton shirt due to the psychological effects of his injury.
The former Leeds United and Coventry forward, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed the 26-year-old is “admired by Ancelotti” which is why he was so quickly brought back.
The Portugal international was sidelined for just 112 days after suffering a dislocation fracture to his ankle when challenged by Tottenham’s Son Heung-min in November.
Gomes returned to Carlo Ancelotti’s squad for last month’s fixture against Arsenal despite fears he would miss the rest of the campaign.
When asked how long it would take for a player to fully recover from such an injury, Whelan told Football Insider: “Psychologically, it will take longer. It will be a psychological thing for him going in for challenges and he will have it in the back of his mind that it might go again.
“Is there a weakness there? That is the biggest part – psychological. He needs to overcome the thought in the back of his mind.
“He is a quality player and he will be one that will be there next season. He is a player that is admired by Ancelotti, hence why he was brought back into the fold so quickly.”
Gomes made only his second start since returning from injury away at Chelsea on Sunday.
It was a difficult afternoon for the Toffees as they were thrashed 4-0 at Stamford Bridge with Mason Mount, Pedro, Willian and Olivier Giroud on the scoresheet for the hosts.