Andre Gomes opened up on how his love for Everton convinced him to make a permanent move to the club instead of returning to Barcelona.
Following an impressive loan campaign, Everton signed Gomes permanently on a five-year contract last month from Barcelona in a £22m deal.
The 25-year-old midfielder arrived at Goodison Park on the back of a troubling two seasons at Barcelona. In total, he started just 39 of his 78 appearances for the Blaugrana as he struggled to recapture his Valencia form.
Over at Everton, though, Gomes showed no signs of his Barcelona troubles and quickly became an integral part of Marco Silva’s squad. Therefore, he quickly grabbed the opportunity of a permanent switch to Merseyside.
Nonetheless, Gomes doesn’t regret his two-year spell at Barcelona.
“It was a really good experience. I spent two years there. I improved a lot and I know the game much better than before,” said Gomes, according to Sky Sports.
“But the opportunity at Everton was really good, a new start. People gave me the confidence to come here and enjoy my life and that was what I was trying to do.
“It was love at first sight. I really appreciate what they (the fans) did for me. I came injured so it wasn’t easy but from the first time, they were with me.
“Obviously Barcelona was really important for me. I played with the best players in the world – [Andres] Iniesta, [Lionel] Messi, Sergio Busquets, so I was really glad to have been at Barcelona.”
Gomes finished his debut campaign at Everton with 29 appearances in all competitions. He scored once and provided two assists to help the Toffees to a respectable eighth-place finish in the Premier League.
The Portugal international is Everton’s second signing of the summer following goalkeeper Jonas Lossl’s arrival from the relegated Huddersfield Town on a free transfer.