It has been suggested recently that Andrea Pirlo is on Everton’s shortlist to replace Carlo Ancelotti at Goodison Park this summer, and if the 42-year-old were to get the job, he could be the man to unlock Andre Gomes in this Toffees side.
According to Calciomercato, Pirlo is one of the names being considered to step up as Ancelotti’s replacement after the 61-year-old returned to Real Madrid this week, with the former looking likely to make a swift return to management after being sacked by Juventus recently.
During his playing days, Pirlo was renowned as an incredible passer of the ball who was extremely composed in possession and could dictate games with apparent ease.
He favoured a possession style of play during his time with Juventus, as only Sassuolo averaged more possession per game than the Old Lady in Serie A last season, which suggests that he would deploy a similar tactic with the Toffees.
This could lead to Gomes having a resurgence of form, with the former Barcelona midfielder having struggled for consistent form during his time at Goodison Park, with his 6.46 average rating from WhoScored last season ranking him as the 18th-best performer in the Toffees’ squad.
Could Pirlo get Gomes back to his best?
However, his passing success rate of 85.3% was the fourth-best of any Everton player with at least 10 appearances in the Premier League last season, which emphasises that he is one of their more talented players on the ball.
Gomes seems to lack the energy to push forward from midfield and contribute in attack, so if he were redeployed by the 42-year-old in ‘the Pirlo role’ as a deep-lying playmaker, he could then become a lot more effective in this Everton side.
Whilst the horrific ankle injury the Portuguese midfielder suffered in 2019 has largely scuppered his form, he has shown glimpses of his ability, with former Toffees goalkeeper Nigel Martyn full of praise for his performance against Leeds last season, saying: “He’s a very composed footballer, looks very good on the ball, intelligent and knows which space to run into. His passing’s very good, his tackling’s very good – he’s a great all-round footballer.”
Ancelotti was also complimentary of the midfielder’s performance that night, saying: “In my opinion, the best player on the pitch was André Gomes…technically, physically, tactically. This is the real André Gomes, the one we need.”
Therefore, with Pirlo’s guidance, the £18m-rated Gomes could start producing these performances on a much more regular basis for Everton, which could see him re-establish himself as a key player at Goodison Park next season if the 42-year-old gets the manager’s job.