Jean-Philippe Gbamin says the best is yet to come after making his Toffees debut in Saturday’s season-opening draw at Crystal Palace.
I’m sure boss Marco Silva will have wanted to ease the 23-year-old in gently but had little choice but to pitch the midfielder straight into the action at Selhurst Park after Andre Gomes was forced off during the first half.
Gbamin has only had a handful of training sessions with his new teammates since joining from Mainz on August 2 and didn’t feature in any of the Toffees’ pre-season friendlies, so it was understandable that he looked a little rusty.
The pace did seem to take the Ivory Coast international by surprise and he was caught out in possession a number of times, but it was still a solid enough performance given the circumstances.
Thankfully the vast majority of Evertonians recognised that and gave Gbamin their backing, drowning out the tiny minority who doubted his abilities.
Speaking to the official site after the game Gbamin admitted he found the game tough but insists he will improve given time.
“It was hard to come in like that – a great game with high intensity.
“I tried to give my best on the pitch and it was difficult in some moments.
“The coach gave me the chance to play and I wanted to take it.
“I am not 100 per cent ready to be at a high level just yet – and I need to be faster.
“I have had only one week of training with the team, so I will keep going and work very hard.”
“I have played more than 200 senior games [including internationals] and I am only 23.
“That is because of the confidence all my coaches have shown in me.
“Marco Silva gave me the chance to come to Everton, so I will give him the best I have, working hard and learning every day.”