Andre Gomes was exposed for his lack of pace and physicality after being named in the Everton starting XI against Manchester United.
That is the view of former England striker Darren Bent who, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, admitted the Portuguese star was overran by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men on Wednesday night.
With Allan, James Rodriguez and Fabian Delph all injured, Carlo Ancelotti handed the 27-year-old his sixth start of the season in what ended as a 2-0 defeat for the Toffees.
He has struggled to hit full fitness since a serious ankle injury last season, having been a mainstay in the Everton side prior to his layoff.
Bent believes that Gomes still has the technical ability in the middle of the park but that his physical attributes are letting him down.
Asked by Football Insider to expand on why the midfielder struggled, Bent explained: “Gomes on the ball is kind of your Rolls Royce footballer that gets on it, links play, not scared to take the ball in tight areas and different scenarios.
“I was disappointed in Gomes because he’s a wonderful footballer, but then again I don’t think he played particularly badly, I just think Man United swarmed the midfield and were by far the better team.
“There are times when the opposition’s midfield are quite quick, they’re dynamic, they get about, I think that’s where Gomes lacks real legs in the middle of the park.
“So you see Doucoure, he can get about the pitch even if he hasn’t quite got the quality on the ball like Gomes.”
Gomes moved to Goodison Park from Barcelona in 2018, initially on loan before making the switch permanent in the summer of 2019 in a deal worth a £22million.
He has 29 international caps to his name but although he has featured in Fernando Santos’ squads, Gomes has not played a minute of action for Portugal since March 2018.