Everton latest news: £25m star is "almost terrified of the ball"

Everton manager Rafael Benitez on the touchline

Daily Star journalist Paul Brown believes Everton midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin looked scared of the ball at times during his recent outing against Wolves.

Despite arriving at Goodison Park for £25m in 2019, Gbamin was making just his second league start for Everton at Molineux, and it was a night to forget for the 26-year-old.

How did Gbamin perform against Wolves?

Gbamin has had a torrid time with injuries over the past two years, and his lack of sharpness was there for all to see against Bruno Lage's men.

According to WhoScored, he failed to make a single key pass or complete any dribbles, and he managed just one tackle. 

With the team 2-0 down at half-time, he was replaced by Fabian Delph, and WhoScored handed him a disastrous game rating of just 5.88. Only Ben Godfrey (5.71) earned a lower mark for the Toffees.

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What did Brown say about Gbamin's performance?

Brown feels that Rafael Benitez made an error by playing Gbamin in a midfield two alongside Allan, and he has hinted that Gbamin lacked confidence during the game.

He told GIVEMESPORT: “I think Benitez did make a mistake playing the way he did. I don’t think you can go to Wolves and only have two in midfield, especially when one of them is Gbamin, who hasn’t played for so long and just looked almost terrified of the ball at times. It’s quite hard to watch.”

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Can Gbamin resurrect his Everton career?

Gbamin looked to be an exciting signing when he joined Everton, but it simply hasn't worked out for him so far, largely due to his injury setbacks.

He got his first top-flight start since August 2019 on Monday, and he did not make the most of it. It was certainly an opportunity missed for the Ivorian.

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Still, it was unrealistic to expect him to come in and play at the top of his game straight away, given what he has been through in recent years.

It is going to take time for him to fully trust his body, and he will need to get regular game time under his belt before he can start to show what he is truly capable of.

If he can remain injury-free for a sustained period of time, his performances are only likely to get better, and there is still a chance that he can offer Everton something positive moving forwards. 

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