Football

‘I was waiting for this moment for a long time’ – Gbamin delighted with Everton return

The Ivory Coast international has recollected his journey from his long term injury and is pleased with his return

Everton midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin has revealed his delight to return from two career-threatening injuries.

The 25-year-old had only played two games for the Toffees since joining the club in the summer of 2019 from Bundesliga side Mainz 05 due to injury problems before returning against Crystal Palace on Monday night.

The midfielder suffered a thigh injury in 2019 and had to undergo surgery, just as he was about to return from the setback, he damaged his Achilles tendon in training in May 2020.

Gbamin has now fully recovered from his injury woes and has appreciated the support he received during his difficult time while also recollecting the journey to his recovery.

“The feeling [coming on] was great. I was waiting for this moment for a long time,” Gbamin told the club website.

“I have been patient and working hard to come back. It was not easy. Finally, being there on Monday night was unbelievable.

“When I was waiting to come on, I was thinking, ‘It’s been a long way until this time’. I was very, very happy and I think you could see that on my face. I was smiling and it was a great moment.

“The fans have been amazing. They were sending me messages on social media and stuff like that [during rehabilitation] and it was very, very warm for them to think about me.

“When I came here, it was like a second family. Everybody in the club was working around me. You feel like you are home, you know? It is special.

“I was close to the comeback after the quadriceps injury. I was thinking I would get some time [on the pitch] and be back playing [before the end of 2019/20] because of the Covid outbreak and all the stuff around the world [delaying the season].

“But, after a few training sessions, I had the Achilles [injury] and it was hard in the moment. But after, I was always positive.

“In my head, I thought, ‘It can be worse – some people in the world don’t have the chance to play football’. I knew it would be a long way to recovery after this injury.

“The Achilles is always very difficult because you can lose your calf, your power and stuff like that. But I was confident.

“I was supported by everybody around me. I received a lot of messages from the fans, [telling me] to not keep my head down.

“At these times, without playing many games for Everton, it was hard. I had played only one-and-a-half games.

“I had to think positively in this time because if I was thinking negatively, I would go down, for sure. My family, here, and the people in Everton were really, really good with me and I want to thank them for that.”

Gbamin will hope to make his fourth appearance for the Goodison Park outfit when they take on Brighton & Hove Albion on April 12.

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