Everton midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin has been described as a “long-term option for next season” by Goodison Park cult hero Michael Ball.
The Toffees signed Gbamin in the summer of 2019, bringing him to Goodison Park from German club Mainz for a reported £25million fee.
Unfortunately, the Ivory Coast international has endured a difficult time with injuries throughout his time at Everton and has made just two first-team appearances to date.
Shortly after his arrival at Goodison Park, Gbamin suffered a thigh injury and had surgery which ruled him out for a number of months.
The midfielder was close to returning to action in 2020 but damaged his Achilles tendon in training and has since been battling overcome the problem.
However, Everton provided a positive update on Gbamin earlier this month, confirming the player is now doing individual ball work on the Finch Farm grass.
“It’s great to have him back and hopefully he can be the player that was brought to the football club, and he can bring a bit more quality into our midfield,” Ball wrote in the Liverpool Echo.
“Whether he appears between now and the end of the season, only time will tell. You have to trust in Carlo and the coaching staff on that side of things.
“For him personally I’m really happy for him and now it’s about getting fit without pushing himself too hard.
“He’s going to be eager, I know what it’s like being out for a long period of time, you’re like a kid in a sweet shop again! You want to do everything.
“He’ll have learned from the past and being at this sort of stage in his rehab previously before picking up another problem.
“Hopefully, with where the season is, there won’t be pressure for him to be involved for large stages this term. He’s a long-term option for next season.
“If he does feature, it shows that he’s doing well and he’s on the right path.”
Gbamin has been so unfortunate with injuries over the past 18 months, and even once he’s available for first-team selection, chances are he’ll need a while to get back to full match fitness.
He’s a quality player and it’ll be great to see him fully fit and raring to go, bolstering an Everton side that has done well this term and which can certainly go even further in the coming seasons.