Bafetimbi Gomis enjoying success after Swansea
Background photo: Dimitri de Souza Carneiro, CC BY-SA 4.0
It was a lifetime ago when Bafetimbi Gomis was in the Premier League. He turned out for Swansea City 64 times, scoring 13 goals in the process; until he disappeared. Now elsewhere, he’s the top scorer and about to win his second league title in as many years.
Gomis enjoyed a famous purple patch in Swansea City colours where he scored seven goals over nine consecutive games. His strikes earned the Welsh side three points against both Arsenal and Manchester United. To a less important scale, he scored a point-winning goal against Chelsea while also proving able to score against Manchester City on two separate occasions. The former France international didn't disappear for big games. If anything he flourished in them.
The problem was that he wasn’t able to sustain this level, come to the end of 2015, the carriage had become a pumpkin and the dance was over. In 2016, Gomis scored exactly one league goal for Swansea City, by the next season’s closure he was out the door. Welsh and English fans did not get to see the infamous lion celebration too many times…
During this timeframe, Swansea City was not the sturdiest ship. Managers departed like empty beer cans; presenting many challenges to all personnel. Was Gomis’ departure and inconsistency a product of this? Unless told otherwise, this writer is going to believe so.
The important step was Gomis did next. He did well with Marseille on loan, then won the league with Galatasaray with Turkey the next year. Oh, 29 goals in 33 games too. Impressive.
Fast forward to February 2019. Swansea City are sulking in the second tier. Sitting averagely mid-table with 44 points. Sure, it’s a tight old season and in spite of the point tally they are seven points off the playoffs, but will they make them? I’m going to say no. Ultimately the team lacks a certain surge. Gomis could have been that force. I’m not saying with the striker still in the side and the valleys in South Wales could hold the riches of footballing silverware, but I will say: “it would be better than being thirteenth in the second tier.”
After all, he’s loving every single stretch of the 3900+ mile distance away from Swansea in Saudi Arabia. Having won the Super Lig, the former French international opted to play in the Gulf state, meaning he’s played in a different country for the past four years.
He’s taken to Saudi Arabia like a duck to water. Gomis is leading the way in the goal in addition to assists tally for the entire division. 16 goals plus seven assists in 20 league games will make you a club legend fast. He continues to perform across many competitions. The transition to Al-Hilal bared fruits to all parties, consisting of only the sweetest flavours. The player is in the form of his life, at present showing no declining attributes. In return, the club has gone six points clear at the top with 11 more goals than the second-placed team. A lot of that is down to the player; who, with 10 games to play in the regular season is cruising to a second league title in as many years.
At 33 years of age, some strikers would call it a day as the goals seize up. Instead, Gomis managed his career to see these days as the most prolific as well as triumphant. See the dataset below for adequate justification.
Self generated table: data sourced from Soccerway
As the table reads, the striker is having the time of his life in Saudi Arabia. This only takes into account the goals he’s scored. This is numerically the best stint in his career. He continues to rack up the assists too allowing teammates to score as well. Add in that and you’ve got a player worth his weight in gold. The riches keep growing and glowing for Gomis.
I would also like to point you in the direction toward the player’s Instagram. It’s a treasure trove: viewers can see a bright big smile on a daily basis. This is a man enjoying his time in the country, adapting to the culture. The lion is truly roaring in his post-Swansea career, whether it be in France, Turkey or Saudi Arabia; as it seems the further he distances himself from Swansea the better he does.
Gomis and Al-Hilal are firing on all cylinders as they ply through many competitions including; the domestic league, The King's Cup, the Arab Club Championship and the Asian Champions League. Should the former Swan keep scoring at is current rate there's no reason that the team can't achieve a marvellous quadruple. At the weekend, they've got a contest with Al-Faisaly. After which in the mid-week, they face a change from the ACL as they visit the UAE to play Al Ain.