Darren Bent has been left raving over the desire and character of Everton midfielder Andre Gomes after having a “difficult night” against Aston Villa.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Villa and England striker says that the Portuguese international might not have lived up to his usual high-class performances but that his willingness to keep trying to make something happen stood out.

Gomes initially joined Everton last season on loan from Barcelona, turning his temporary stay at Goodison Park permanent in the recent transfer window.

Bent says that the 26-year-old demonstrated impressive mental strength to continue to try and make an impact in the middle of the pitch despite having an off night against Dean Smith’s side, who ran out 2-0 winners at Villa Park.

Asked if he thought Gomes had a difficult night against the Villans, Bent told Football Insider: “He did but listen, you can’t question his quality. I know he made a couple of wrong decisions and his passing wasn’t what it was, but what I like is that he still kept demanding the ball and wanting the ball.

“That is a trait you can’t coach, you can’t teach that because a lot of midfield players would go and hide but not him. You could see from his passing and confidence on the ball that he’s a big player from them.

“That one performance wouldn’t worry me, I think he’s a top-quality player.” 

Gomes played the full 90 minutes against Villa, picking up a yellow card 10 minutes before the final whistle, in a midfield also containing Morgan Schneiderlin and Gylfi Sigurdsson.

The Toffees’ next outing sees them take on Lincoln City in the League Cup on Wednesday, before visiting Wolves in the Premier League on Sunday.

In other Everton news, Football Insider can reveal that one Toffees player has turned down offers from English sides to secure a move abroad.