Going for Gomez?
Author: Emily Pulham. Published: 31 January 2019 at 6:25pm
Written by: @JCHammer13
In what has been a rather dismal January transfer window for West Ham fans, there has been one Uruguayan source of hope. As it began to look increasingly likely that our primary goal scorer Marko Arnautovic would leave the club, Manuel Pellegrini drew up a list of suitable candidates for the lead striker role at West Ham. Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gomez was firmly at the top of this list, and as early transfer discussions progressed positively, suddenly Hammers fans grew excited at the prospect of replacing a 29-year-old want-away, with a youthful hot prospect.
Once it was announced that Marko would remain at the club, it was assumed by most that this would put an end to our January negotiations with Celta Vigo. That was until the ever-reliable Ex (@ExWHUEmployee) announced that our pursuit of Gomez would continue, with Pellegrini keen to conclude the deal in January.
So, with deadline day upon us, what are the chances of West Ham having their cake and eating it too?
At present it seems very unlikely that Maxi Gomez will be a West Ham player by 11:59pm tonight. Gomez’s current club, Celta Vigo, have suffered 5 consecutive losses to date and are languishing in the bottom three of La Liga – naturally reducing their appetite to sell their leading goal scorer. Therefore, the offer currently under discussion is for West Ham to complete the permanent signing of Gomez in January, followed by immediately loaning the striker back to Celta, for the remainder of the season. This compromise has left West Ham unwilling to pay the full amount (£43 Million) stipulated in Gomez’s release clause and instead are reported to be looking to pay closer to £40 million mark. Whilst Ex has confirmed negotiations are ongoing, it looks increasingly likely that an agreement will not be reached in January, with discussions being postponed until the summer.
This approach carries a fair element of risk for West Ham, which Pellegrini clearly appreciates, hence his desire to get the deal concluded now. As Gomez continues to net goals at the highest level, rumours of interest from clubs like Barcelona strengthen and if Maxi’s purple patch extends to the end of the season, there could be clubs of far larger stature than West Ham bidding in the summer.
If the club do manage to secure Gomez’s signature, what can we expect to see when he pulls on Claret and Blue?
First, we must consider that this player is Pellegrini’s top choice and based on the successes of Felipe Anderson, Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena, it is clear the level of player we should expect.
The Uruguayan youngster has been a revelation since joining Celta Vigo around 18 months ago, netting 19 times in his first season, followed up by nine goals and five assists so far in this campaign. These goals have come under the tutelage of former Barcelona Assistant Manager, Juan Carlos Unzué, who has frequently drawn comparisons between Gomez and another Uruguayan forward he has worked with, Luis Suarez, an exceptional compliment for the youngster.
Gomez has exhibited many exciting qualities in his relatively short top-flight career; however, the most prominent is his undeniable striker’s instinct, a footballing sixth sense that cannot be taught and results in fabulous attacking potency.
Whilst the youngster has frequently flourished in a strike partnership with Spanish international Iago Aspas, the Spaniard’s recent injury has showcased Gomez’s ability to play in a lone forward role, which will be key to adapting to Pellegrini’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation. He certainly has the raw qualities to flourish as a loan striker, his intense physicality alongside genuine pace and highly intelligent movement is certainly as a recipe for a well-rounded forward.
Above all, it is Gomez’s attitude which make him a perfect candidate to win the hearts of the West Ham fans. Gomez is known for his unparalleled passion for the game and the determination to do whatever it takes to win – couple that with an extensive goal tally and young Gomez could be a hero in East London in no time!