By Darren Bent

22nd Dec, 2020 | 6:00pm

'I Can Only Imagine...' - Exclusive: Top pundit shares big Andre Gomes claim

Andre Gomes has fallen out of favour with Carlo Ancelotti but the Everton midfielder can still be a first-team sensation.

That is according to ex-England striker Darren Bent, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the Portugal international midfielder.

Barcelona once paid £42million for Gomez, who joined Everton for an initial £22m in the summer of 2019 on a five-year deal worth £120,000-a-week.

Now 46 matches into his Premier League career, the midfielder’s progression has flatlined.

An ankle injury saw him ruled out for three months in November 2019 and he has struggled to find form ever since.

His battle for first-team selection was not helped by Everton’s £67 million spending spree in the summer which saw the club bring in three midfielders: James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure.

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“Ever since that horrific injury that he had we’ve never seen him quite back to that same level,” Bent told Football Insider.

“Now listen, I fully understand I’ve never done that injury or knee injury of that magnitude. I can only imagine how bad, and how long it must take you to get back to that level that you’re at.

“But the more game time that you can get… I would love to see him get back to that level because we know how good he is.

“Hopefully, he can get himself back to that level because he’s a wonderful footballer and someone I’ve enjoyed watching since he’s been at Everton.”

With Everton in the midst of a mini injury crisis following setbacks for Allan, James Rodriguez and Fabian Delph, Gomes might be looking to reassert himself on the starting 11.

But Gomes was left out of the matchday squad entirely for last Saturday’s match against Arsenal and may soon have another selection battle to win as Everton have reportedly stepped up their interest in World Cup winner Sami Khedira.

In other news, there has been a development in Everton’s reported pursuit of Manchester United defender.