By Darren Bent

27th Oct, 2019 | 2:43pm

Exclusive: Darren Bent claims 26-year-old is Everton's best player 'by some distance'

Darren Bent claimed that midfielder Andre Gomes was head and shoulders above his Everton teammates as he is the club’s best player by some distance.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Laura O’Leary, the former England international admitted that Marco Silva should play Gomez whenever possible, even when not fully fit, due to how good he is.

Gomes has made seven appearances across all competitions this season but did miss several games for Silva’s side recently due to a rib injury.

The 26-year-old midfielder was making only his second start against Brighton on Saturday since his spell on the sidelines and Bent claimed he was a player that the Toffees need to utilise whenever possible.

When asked about whether Gomes had a quiet game against the Seagulls due to him still building up match fitness, Bent told Football Insider: “That may possibly be the case.

“However Gomes is Everton’s best player by some distance so even when he’s not fully up to speed, he still needs to play, I’d put him in the team even when he isn’t 100% as he makes such a difference as he shows real quality when on the ball.

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“Yeah it’s true he can sometimes have invisible games for Everton but he’s such a talented player you have to risk playing him even if he isn’t he up to speed.”

The Toffees lost 3-2 to Brighton on Saturday and Marco Silva’s side following the loss now sit 16th in the table with 10 points from their opening 10 games.

Everton are next in action on Tuesday as they host fellow Premier League side Watford in the EFL Cup before returning to Premier League action against Tottenham next Sunday.

In other Everton news, Paul Robinson claims that Everton are yet to see the best of one first-team regular.