Jean-Philippe Gbamin says that a positive mindset and the support of family, fans and the club are what propelled him through his recovery from two long-term injury set-backs.
The Ivorian midfielder had played just a game and a half for the Toffees after signing from Mainz in 2019 when he sustained a serious quadriceps injury in training and had to undergo two surgeries to correct the problem.
Then, just he was entering the final stages of his recovery during the initial coronavirus lock-down a year ago, he ruptured an Achilles tendon and had to go under the knife again.
Now 25, the £23m signing made his much-anticipated comeback at Goodison Park last Monday when he came on as a second-half substitute in the 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace.
“The feeling was great,” Gbamin told evertontv about the moment he was finally able to run out onto the pitch again. “I've been waiting for this moment for a long time. I've been patient and working hard to come back and it was easy but, finally, being there on Monday night was unbelievable.
“You can see on my face — I was smiling and it was a great feeling.
“I was close to coming back after the quadriceps [injury] and I was thinking I could get some [minutes] and be back playing because of COVID. After [I injured] the Achilles it was hard in the moment but I am always positive so it was hard but in my head, “It could be worse and some people around the world don't get the chance to play football.
“I knew it would be a long way to work back because with the Achilles it is always very difficult but I was confident.
“Everybody around me was supporting me. I got a lot of messages from the fans to not keep my head down. Not playing any games for Everton was hard … but I was thinking positively because if I thought negatively, I would go down for sure.
“But my family and everyone at Everton have been good to me. [The fans] were amazing; they were sending me messages on social media. It was very warm from them to think about me.
“When I came here, it was a like a second family. Everyone makes you feel like you are at home — it's special.”
Gbamin was signed and made his debut under one manager 20 months ago but made his return under another and as he builds his fitness, he can provide a timely boost to Carlo Ancelotti's midfield options at a time where injuries are giving the Italian a number of headaches.
Abdoulaye Doucouré is expected to be out for the rest of the month, Fabian Delph has been written off by supporters as a reliable presence due to his recurrent injury issues, Allan missed the Palace match with a knock and André Gomes had to be withdrawn from that game with a hamstring problem.
On top of that, the Blues' home form is derailing a tilt at the Champions League this season bur Gbamin is looking forward to helping Ancelotti achieve his aims over the longer term.
"I think he wants to make Everton fight for the big positions and the Champions League, so we want to have a competitive team,” Gbamin told the Liverpool Echo.
"To be part of this project is really, really good.
"This gives you a lot of confidence, and I want to give his confidence back and show it on the pitch."
Reader Comments (40)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 08/04/2021 at 17:17:46
2 Posted 08/04/2021 at 17:37:10
My slight concern is that we actually need a complete refresh in midfield, and I highly doubt that we'd be signing Gbamin right now if he wasn't already on the pay roll. Gomes struggles after his injury, Delph is a sicknote, James seems to be able to play about one in three games for around 70 minutes before asking to come off, and Allan has missed a fair amount through injury too.
Fingers crossed for Gbamin but is there any reason to suspect that he'll be any good?
3 Posted 08/04/2021 at 17:54:26
4 Posted 08/04/2021 at 17:54:28
5 Posted 08/04/2021 at 17:59:43
7 Posted 08/04/2021 at 18:01:23
8 Posted 08/04/2021 at 18:52:20
I just hope and pray that JPG stays fit and available till the end of the campaign, and gets a chance to put his claims to the acid test, but there's bound to be someone who says before too long what did we buy him for?
9 Posted 08/04/2021 at 18:57:17
10 Posted 08/04/2021 at 19:48:49
11 Posted 08/04/2021 at 19:50:15
He should know that we are all behind him and willing him to do well. I think we may need a bit of patience though because I cant see this reintroduction to Premier League football going totally to plan.
12 Posted 08/04/2021 at 19:55:08
Anyone see who Chelski brought on as subs last night - Kante and Thiago Silva !! We have so far to go its untrue.
13 Posted 08/04/2021 at 20:28:18
And if he really does still have the pace to be a Prem player, it'll be a wonderful miracle -- and one for the medical books.
Go on, son. Do it.
14 Posted 08/04/2021 at 20:58:05
15 Posted 08/04/2021 at 21:15:28
The first tiny steps back after a very long bumpy agonising journey to get there, I hope those tiny steps the other night expand into many galloping games for the Blues, best wishes mate and a long injury free few years to go with them.
16 Posted 08/04/2021 at 21:48:28
Now we ask how few of us actually make it?
Here we have a lad out of the few thousands actually get there and have all this shit put on them
Just hope he gets back to a level where we saw his potential and he succeeds with us
Wish him all the best
17 Posted 09/04/2021 at 02:22:20
18 Posted 09/04/2021 at 08:40:09
19 Posted 09/04/2021 at 09:15:48
20 Posted 09/04/2021 at 09:52:12
Get him in, it'll build up his fitness and awareness of the EPL for next season
21 Posted 09/04/2021 at 11:18:59
The rot started in 1999 on the day the Central League in the north and The Football Combination in the south were replaced by the FA Premier Reserve League.
The so-called Reserves finally disappeared in 2011, to be replaced by the age-defined Professional Development League, the Under-21 Premier League becoming Premier League 2 in 2016, with the age limit increasing to Under-23s.
I think it's fair to say that first-team players simply do not play for the Under-23s. We were even told last month that senior players commonly have that written into their contracts. So a progressive reintroduction to the first team through sub cameos has become the norm.
I think the last senior player to recuperate in the U23s (not counting Oumar Niasse) was James McCarthy, 2 years ago. Yet think of the countless injured senior players who have needed to reacquire match fitness after injury since then – and not one has done it in the U23s.
I was sure Seamus Coleman had a game with them before coming back from his broken leg... but I can't confirm that. But I would class both McCarthy and Coleman as 'old school' in this regard — It really is a thing of the past.
22 Posted 09/04/2021 at 12:25:05
23 Posted 09/04/2021 at 12:52:29
But then agian, the slew of knowledgable academy bashers on here say the U23 games are just training exercises anyway and provide nothing by way of preparation for the big time.
24 Posted 09/04/2021 at 13:08:58
25 Posted 09/04/2021 at 13:17:25
26 Posted 09/04/2021 at 13:21:23
27 Posted 09/04/2021 at 13:37:44
Just musing whilst having a break from painting fence panels.
28 Posted 09/04/2021 at 13:42:39
When I had a season ticket donkeys years ago, it enabled free access to all Central League games at Goodison. The standard of those games looked fantastic preparation for any young player developing for the first team, for any first team players coming back from injury, and for any first team players who dont feature regularly in the first team to keep themselves match fit and ticking over.
29 Posted 09/04/2021 at 13:53:54
30 Posted 09/04/2021 at 14:09:15
I thought it weird too. Aside from the quality debate, surely just playing a full 90 minutes for the u23 a few times would get him back into a routine. Also assuming the first team have 11 a side training sessions, I dont imagine theyre full blooded with the risk of injuring team mates.
31 Posted 09/04/2021 at 14:10:06
I didn't care for the old reserve set up and nor do I for the current Under 23s. Both were about as non-productive as each other in my opinion.
I've always been interested in exploring the B Team concept as is applied in Spain. I think Martinez once spoke of trying to promote the idea in the English league. Players getting competitive league football but with their own club, so negating or at least reducing the tendency to use the loan system, which I know many here are not fans of either.
32 Posted 09/04/2021 at 14:16:30
The most obvious youth player to have tried instead is Onyango but he's just suffered a very serious injury. Price and Warrington also look talented but are still feeling their way into the u23s so makes sense for Gbamin to be ahead in the pecking order.
For any dead rubbers in the final games of the season might be nice to see Nkounkou, Small and Warrington get some minutes (Price needs a few big dinners over summer first, I think!) over Delph for example.
Whether it was right to bring Gbamin on with the match in the balance is another point, I guess.
33 Posted 09/04/2021 at 14:25:03
I guess the U23s just isn't proving itself to be the preparing ground it should be either for young potential or those coming back from injury. I assume the conditions aren't right for what is needed for first team football.
Goes back to what a lot of us believe; not fit for purpose and a flawed concept.
34 Posted 09/04/2021 at 14:40:09
The answer to your question ? Given the degree of angst, annoyance, frustration, disappointment at nearly all of our recent performances, it has to be fence panels. Going to paint the downstairs bog on Monday evening starting at 8 p.m.
35 Posted 09/04/2021 at 14:57:09
And then I'll still end up watching Everton, having been to a beer garden, and promise to do it on Tuesday.
36 Posted 09/04/2021 at 15:15:30
37 Posted 09/04/2021 at 16:00:30
38 Posted 09/04/2021 at 21:04:19
Id say it is more about match ‘sharpness and taking full-bodied blows. Under those circumstances I would doubt the U23s games are representative enough of first team footy to be really useful preparation, especially for the positions where strength can be the deciding factor.
39 Posted 12/04/2021 at 13:30:45
Recent signings in midfield - Gbamin, Allan, Doucoure, Gomes, Delph etc - all seem to be keeping nursey busy in the sick bay. We should sign two players for every one we need, based on the number of crocks we end up with.
40 Posted 12/04/2021 at 14:17:44
41 Posted 12/04/2021 at 19:15:57
We should've wrapped the lad in cotton wool and taken a financial hit in the summer. No chance now.
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.