Andre Gomes says he “knows he made the best decision” joining Everton as he revealed he is enjoying playing under forward-thinking manager Marco Silva.
The Portugal international added the team spirit at the Club means he “already feels like part of the family”.
Gomes joined Everton from Barcelona on a season-long loan on transfer deadline day but was unable to taste first-team action until October 21 after a hamstring injury.
Upon being handed a debut against Crystal Palace at Goodison Park two weeks ago, he delivered a classy performance as the Toffees ran out 2-0 winners.
And while the Blues saw their three-game top-flight winning streak halted at Manchester United on Sunday, Gomes again impressed alongside Idrissa Gana Gueye in the midfield engine room.
Gomes, who has been capped 29 times by his country, revealed he had several offers on the table this summer. But the 25-year-old says Everton offers the perfect platform for him to produce his best football, highlighting the Club's ambition and the progressive philosophy of his fellow Portuguese Silva.
“I am sure I made the best decision [to join Everton],” he said.
“Of course, I had other offers. Marco was very important for me - the way he spoke to me and the confidence he gave me. I spoke with him a few times before I made the decision.
“I spoke with Phil Neville, too. I am good friends with him from my time at Valencia, and he played here and he knew how the Club works.
“I spoke to Lucas Digne, too. He played with me in Barcelona, he signed two or three weeks before me and he gave me information about the Club and the facilities.
“I am glad to be at Everton now and really happy with the decision. I am getting confidence and better every day so I am really happy with that.
“I think things here are changing. The Club wants to grow and the philosophy now is to enjoy every game and try to win every game. The focus is always on being positive and getting the most points we can.”
Gomes was one of Everton standout performers against United last weekend.
The 25-year-old’s sharp, accurate passing, ferocious work-rate and ability to surge forward from the middle of the park all came to fore at Old Trafford.
The Portuguese covered more ground than any other player on the pitch (eight miles) while his quality on the ball was highlighted by his 89-per-cent passing accuracy.
He was ambitious in possession, too, with only Michael Keane making more accurate passes in the opposing half in the Everton team.
While the Toffees were edged out by Jose Mourinho’s men, Gomes says confidence remains high in the squad.
He insists the Blues boast the character and quality to hit straight back against Brighton & Hove Albion at Goodison Park on Saturday.
“We have a really good team, with talented players, people who want to work,” he said. “That is really important, we are working hard every day to get better.
“And if we keep winning more games the confidence will rise.
“Against Brighton, we will play in front of our fans in the stadium so we want to do well. It’s normal to have a bit of pressure and we are ready.”
Gomes revealed there is a vibrant atmosphere in training at USM Finch Farm each day.
He says the strong team spirit within the squad has been key to his rapid acclimatisation to life at Everton and believes this togetherness can help drive the Blues onto success this season.
“It was easy for me [to settle in],” he said. “The boys here are amazing. The spirit and the way you feel like part of a family is really important – and all the boys here and the staff and Everton are amazing. And the fans, too, the way they receive you is great.
“I’m really happy and I think it was easy for all the other new signings settle in, too.”
Gomes captured the hearts of Evertonians across the globe when he bought a jacket for a chilly young fan outside Goodison Park last week.
The Blues midfielder had joined a group of supporters for a bus tour around Liverpool when he noticed 10-year-old Sam feeling the cold during a stop at Goodison.
Asked about the gesture, the modest midfielder attempted to play it down.
“It was a normal thing,” he said. “I just saw the kid with only a t-shirt but it was really cold, freezing. I just asked if the club store was open, so I took the boy and I bought the jacket, it’s a normal thing!
“But I was happy after the tour bus when the boy was really happy.”