Why Arsenal should avoid signing Andre Gomes at all costs
Arsenal are set to undergo a season in which massive change will occur at the Emirates Stadium. It's already begun with Arsene Wenger's departure from the bench. The beleaguered Frenchman was replaced by Unai Emery, himself coming off a disappointing season with French champions Paris Saint-Germain.
With Emery all but set to take control of the team, the signings began to arrive. Bernd Leno and Sokratis Papastathopoulos. More could join in the coming weeks. However, one name Arsenal need to avoid signing at all costs is Andre Gomes.
The Portugal international is currently under contract with Barcelona, but there is no question his stock has been trending in the wrong direction over the past six months. He arrived at the Camp Nou as the next big thing in box-to-box midfielders, an interesting prospect who should be a mainstay for years to come. Matters took a different turn.
Gomes quickly became the scapegoat for everything wrong with Barca. He didn’t give enough effort defensively; he lacked creativity going forward; he did not mark very well, he wasn’t scoring enough. You name it; he didn't do it. Every time Barcelona had a problem, fans seemingly thought it was because of Andre Gomes. That’s harsh, to say the least. But it wasn’t a lie, either.
Through his first two seasons, Andre Gomes only has three goals and four assists in 78 appearances for Barca. Keep in mind he netted eight goals with eight assists in an equal 78 appearances for Valencia. He registered four goals in “only” 41 matches for Benfica, as well. It all seems a poor return considering he had eight goals and nine assists in 17 games for Benfica B. Did I mention he was playing as a central midfielder?
The numbers tell a simple truth. Andre Gomes is not good enough to play on a top team or in a top league. At least not yet. We are talking about a young player, but also one with plenty of experience.
Let’s not forget he already has 29 appearances for Portugal. He was a key piece in the squad that won the European Championship two years ago. But he didn’t even make the squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Between those two years, he moved to Barcelona. Coincidence? Ask Lionel Messi.
Gomes is only 24. He can still become the player everyone expected. Which is not to say Arsenal should roll the dice on the chance he will. By all accounts, he would bolster the team’s depth in midfield, but would he be an upgrade over the current in-house options? Right now, he is a few steps below Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey.
Unai Emery might be a fan, but the Spanish boss needs to be concise in what he wants for Arsenal. If he wants to rebuild the squad, Gomes could be a decent piece for the future. But if he wants to take the Gunners directly back to the top, no. Gomes is just not good enough to be on a contending team. His last two seasons at Barcelona are the proof.