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5 things you should know about Barca's new boy André Gomes

Tuesday 26th July 2016
According to multiple reports floating online, La Liga champions, Barcelona have completed the signing of André Gomes from Valencia for a fee rumoured to be within the circle of €50 million. Here are a few things you should know about the new Barcelona midfielder.
1. He is a product of the Benfica youth setup

André Gomes rose through the ranks at Benfica. Aged just 18, the Midfielder who had just transferred from Porto became a regular face with the Benfica B team. Gomes would go on to make 17 appearances for Benfica B, scoring 8 goals. In 2012, André Gomes made his breakthrough into the Benfica first team, he notched 14 appearances and scored 2 goals.

After his much-improved performances at the UEFA Europa League in 2014, a move abroad seemed imminent. Valencia would provide a haven and Gomes would be shipped out on loan to the Spanish outfit. A year later, Valencia would have seen enough talent and quality from the Portuguese and made the deal permanent.

2. He can perform on the big stage

Barcelona has got a guy who's by no means short on confidence. In 2014, when Benfica lost the UEFA Europa league final to Sevilla, Gomez was on for the full 90', being one of the youngest players on the pitch.

We certainly cannot forget in a hurry Gomes's wonder strike against Real Madrid last season. Barcelona will be expecting more of that performance and a replica of the unassailable opponent he proved to be, as Valencia came off with a 2-1 victory against Barcelona at the camp Nou last season. All these are tantamount to the fact that André Gomes is a man who wouldn't get caught cowering under the spotlight.

3. He's a man with a winning mentality

Tears streamed freely from the eyes of young André Gomes as he watched an Unai Emery led Sevilla, celebrate round the pitch of Turin with a Europa cup trophy in hand. The emotion shown by the young midfielder has since been converted into fiery midfield play and an unquenchable hunger for success. Playing his best football for the 'Los Che', at the Mestalla, André Gomes proved to be one of the few stand-out players as Valencia endured a dip in form in the La-Liga last season, he made 27 appearances in the La-Liga and scored 3 goals. Gomes's fine performances even in games where Valencia had lost, showed that the young playmaker could make the cut in any big team in Europe.

4. He's young, tall and well built

Aged 22, the new Barca man has all the makings of someone who can grow and develop into becoming one of the best midfielders in the game. Gomes stands a towering 6ft. 2 (188cm), a feature that will add more height to the Barcelona midfield and also provide a fair fight against opponents who thrive on aerial duels. Physically, the European Cup (Euro 2016) winner is no pushover, he weighs a healthy 84kg, meaning he would add more physicality to the Barca midfield set-up.

5. He's a man with a lot yet to prove

Avid watchers of the La-Liga can attest to the fact that André Gomes is one man who draws a lot of attention to himself by his incisive play, crisp passing, and hard tackling in the middle of the pack. Gomes was also a key member of Portugal's record-breaking Euro 2016 squad, he played 5 games, created 8 chances and provided one assist, with a pass accuracy of 82% (a perfect fit for Barca's style).

However, André Gomes comes into the Barcelona team with the huge responsibility of having to justify his €50 million price-tag. The Portuguese will have his work cut-out trying to climb Luis Enrique's midfield pecking order that includes established stars such as Andrés Iniesta, Arda Turan, Ivan Rakitić and Sergio Busquets.

It is, however, a thing of certainty that we are yet to see the best football from this young Portuguese midfielder.
Kingsley Ukpai

Kingsley is a football aficionado who craves to read, watch, play and write about the greatest team sport ever known to man. If you're talking football he'll be keen to listen to what you have to say. Loves to play Fantasy Football too.

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