Gomes’ introduction on the hour mark sealed a return to the playing field for the first time since early November, when he suffered a nasty-looking ankle injury following a tackle from Tottenham forward Son Heung-Min at Goodison Park.
It was initially feared that the Portuguese international midfielder could miss the rest of the season but he made a quicker-than-expected recovery and played 60 minutes in a behind-closed-doors friendly for the club’s u-23 side last week.
Although Everton lost 3-2 to Arsenal, Gomes put in an energetic display against the Gunners and even earned a late yellow card for a shove on Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang.
The former Barcelona midfielder was thrilled to be back after the game and thanked everyone who helped him through the period on the sidelines.
“I need to thank everyone, the team they were great, my supporters, Evertonians and also football supporters in general, everyone has been wonderful with me,” he told Sky Sports.
“Other players, professionals and ex-professionals; everyone has been wonderful so I need to thank you.
“It gives me confidence and it feels like you have the support of the people. I just pushed myself to my limit and wanted to be back as soon as possible. I am glad I have the help of everyone around me.”
Everton take on Manchester United at the weekend, and Gomes will be expected to start for the Toffees at Goodison Park.