Football clubs typically try their hardest to hold onto their 20-goals-a-season strikers. But this isn’t exactly the case with Lyon, who are trying so hard to discard of their 20 goals a season striker.
For a club like Lyon, players must be sold before purchases can be made, and in certain cases, players must be sold just to balance the books. This is why Lyon were forced to sell young star Anthony Martial recently to Monaco for €5 million. With Bafetimbi Gomis rejecting every bid made for him so far this summer, Lyon were at risk of missing their deadlines to pay off their debt, and had to act fast to avoid repercussions.
Regardless, it looks likely that Gomis will still be sold this summer, even if he’s made it clear of his desire to stay. Remi Garde, Lyon’s coach, has made it clear that Gomis is not in his plans for net season, and Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has publicly criticized Gomis’ decision to stay at Lyon thus far.
The situation is further complicated by the fact that Gomis is in the final year of his contract, and could leave Lyon for free at the end of the 2013-14 season if he does not sign a new contract.
Putting aside the messiness of Gomis’ transfer saga, Gomis himself is a quality striker in his prime with Champions League experience. With 74 goals in 190 appearances since transferring to Lyon, and 14 goals in the Champions League, he’s about as proven as they come.
As the figure above shows, Gomis is fairly accurate in front of goal. He hits the target with every one in two shots, and converts 41% of those shots into goals. This is the case despite the fact that Gomis takes a variety of shots, from long shots to volleys and to headers.
Secondly, Gomis is a decent distributor of the ball as well; in Ligue 1 last season, he recorded four assists and 23 key passes. Gomis worked hard last season to set up his teammates for goals and good goalscoring opportunities.
Gomis is not a world-class striker; if he was, the world’s top clubs would be beating down Lyon’s door offering top-dollar for his services, instead of the likes of Cardiff City & Swansea City. Nevertheless, he’s a good striker, and can do a good job for numerous clubs currently lacking in the striker department.
Gomis is the type of striker who can score 10-15 goals no matter what team he’s playing in, be it La Liga, the Premier League, Ligue 1, the Bundesliga, or elsewhere. That’s because he’s strong, dangerous in the box, and capable of adjusting to handle different opportunities — skills that enable a striker to convert goals regularly.
If Gomis does sign for Cardiff, Swansea or any other side in the Premier League, he’ll provide teams with a tremendous boost in quality. But there are numerous other teams who could use his services. At Tottenham, Gomis would be a significant improvement over Emmanuel Adebayor, who showed his inflexibility and inability to adjust several times last season. And for Gomis many other reported suitors — Fiorentina, Bayer Leverkusen, Shakhtar Donetsk are a few named clubs — Gomis would likely still flourish, provided he was given regular playing time or at least rotated into the starting lineup regularly.
Gomis is too good a striker to spend a year rotting on the bench at Lyon. If/when he does move, he’ll provide his new club with a top-class focal point and a regular flow of goals, all at a bargain price.