The midfielder impressed to the Toffees in Arsenal despite being on the losing side and appreciated those who helped him return to action.

Andre Gomes provided his gratitude for the support he received during his injury absence after making his return in Everton’s 3-2 defeat at Arsenal.

He’d been out for nearly four months after a nasty ankle break picked up in a match against Tottenham in November after a struggle with Son Heung-min.

The injury appeared so severe that few could have predicted that the Portugal global would return to action this year, and it seemed like it could even affect him going in the next campaign, but he’s made an incredible recovery.

However he substituted Morgan Schneiderlin for the last half-hour at the Emirates Stadium and, speaking after the game, Gomes thanked the many men and women who have supported him during his recovery.

“I want to thank everybody, the group they were great, my fans, Evertonians and also football supporters generally, everyone was wonderful with me,” he informed Sky Sports.

“Other players, players and ex-professionals; everyone has been fantastic so I want to thank you.

“It gives me confidence and it seems like you’ve got the help of the people. I just pushed myself to my limit and wanted to return as soon as possible. I’m glad I have the aid of everyone around me.”

Gomes made a direct impact in Everton’s midfield that was lackluster and unimaginative before his arrival.

The Toffees took an early lead through Dominic Calvert-Lewin but allow Arsenal back to the match when Eddie Nketiah scored his second Premier League goal.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang subsequently gave Arsenal the lead before Richarlison equalised on the stroke of half-time.

Aubameyang scored a second in the first minute of the second half. It would end up being the winner, and secured three points for the Gunners in a significant game in the race for European qualification.

Regardless of the defeat, Gomes’ return, along with his performance, were encouraging for Everton who were lacking in the middle of the park at times this year.

“Obviously it’s a gloomy [result],” Gomes told BBC Sport. “I think we played a fantastic match, of course we surrendered a couple of opportunities for Arsenal but we will need to anticipate the upcoming games.

“We have three tough matches coming. We had a whole lot of chances in the past twenty minutes with more people upfront. It’s difficult to take. It is very important for the group that we’ve scored the goals, we simply have to concede less.”