We recently made the case that Arsenal should avoid a move for Barcelona midfielder Andre Gomes at all costs. Based on his form whilst he’s been at Barcelona, there’s certainly an argument to be made to suggest that the Spaniard would be a risk not worth taking for Arsenal. According to the Independent, the Gunners could move for him this summer, with Unai Emery a huge fan of the Portuguese.
Whilst there’s certainly an argument to suggest that signing Gomes would be a risk, you could also look at this a different way. Indeed, there is scope to argue that a move for Gomes would be a stroke of genius from Unai Emery.
In order to understand Gomes’ quality, you need to look past his time at Barcelona. The Portuguese has had a terrible time there, granted, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Instead, you need to look back to his time at Valencia. The form that earned him a move to Catalonia.
Given Jack Wilshere’s departure, it would make sense for Gomes to be viewed as the replacement for the Englishman, and it’s fair to say that he’d be a decent choice. Between Wilshere’s form last campaign, and Gomes’ during his final year at Valencia, there are a few interesting comparisons to draw.
Appearance-wise, the Portuguese has Wilshere beaten by some margin. Wilshere’s career has been marred by injury and inconsistency, and he’s never really been someone that the Gunners have been able to turn to. Gomes’ appearance rate, meanwhile, says quite the opposite. His goalscoring threat was also more significant, whilst he matched Wilshere’s assist rate. Gomes also has something in his locker that Wilshere doesn’t – height. That was always viewed as a weak point of the midfielder’s game, but that’s not the case for Gomes. He won an average of 1.3 aerial duels per game – a tally that has increased during his time at Barcelona, which is interesting – whilst Wilshere offered less than 0.5 per game. That physical presence, especially in the Premier League, is important.
In truth, there’s arguably never been a better time to sign Gomes. His stock is at an all-time low, and so for Arsenal, the risk here is quite minimal. Worst case, he’ll be a decent rotational option. But best case, Emery could be the perfect manager to turn his form around. If he can return to even half the level that he saw at Valencia, Arsenal could have a steal on their hands.
Arsenal fans – thoughts?
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