West Ham linked with audacious swoop for Barcelona's Andre Gomes – will it happen?
After being linked with Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho for what seemed like an age during this summer window, West Ham manager Slaven Bilic drastically needs to source a possible Plan ‘B’.
ESPN understand that the Hammers have been priced out of a potential move for the Portuguese powerhouse and, as a back-up, will instead turn their attentions towards Barcelona’s Andre Gomes.
The Spanish side’s boss Ernesto Valverde allegedly doesn’t consider Gomes as part of his plans moving forward at the Nou Camp and is willing to listen to offers before the Thursday deadline.
What could Gomes bring to the London Stadium?
The 24-year-old arrived at the Nou Camp from fellow Spanish outfit Valencia last summer but, a whole year into Barcelona life, it is fair to say that things haven’t quite gone as planned for Gomes.
Despite being awarded 18 starts in La Liga last season – and five in the Champions League – it just hasn’t clicked for Gomes, struggling to dictate the play and offer the excitement he did for Valencia.
However, one difficult season doesn’t detract from the clear talent that he possesses, with his natural instinct to play one-touch football and get things moving in the final third exactly the style of play that could lift West Ham after a woeful start to the campaign, and get them moving up the table.
His passing accuracy of 88% last season – only second to Iniesta – shows how industrious he is playing as a playmaker, and it’s very rare to see Gomes taking a breather in the middle of the park.
Experience of playing for a team like Barcelona, plus his 25 appearances for the Portugal national side, means he wouldn’t be phased by the challenge of the likes of Chelsea or Liverpool in England.
Simply put, there is no other player like him at West Ham at the moment, and the thought of Gomes lining-up alongside a fully-fit Manuel Lanzini is no doubt a welcome one from Hammers’ fans.
Nonetheless, to get a deal done on deadline day, especially for a Barcelona player, seems a little steep, and West Ham may be better placed to look at the likes of Jack Wilshere – who The Sun have linked with a switch.
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