Published on May 10th, 2017 | by David Kraakman0
Why Maxi Gómez is ready to follow in striking footsteps of Luis Suárez
The Defensor Sporting hotshot, Maxi Gómez is on the brink of joining Celta Vigo to try and emulate the success of fellow Uruguayan, Luis Suarez
After scoring ten goals in the last ten games for his club Defensor Sporting, 20-year-old striker Maximiliano Gómez has been the subject of interest from clubs from the old continent. One of those clubs is Celta de Vigo and the Europa League semi-finalists already have an offer on the table for the youngster.
Defensor Sporting president Daniel Jablonka has even gone so far to say that there are only a few details to be sorted before Gómez’ move to Celta can be finalized. According to various reports, the Spanish side will pay €3.4M for 50% of the Uruguayan’s transfer rights. It would be the second highest fee Defensor has received for a player in their history just behind club legend Nicolás Olivera (€3.5M).
So what are Celta buying with Maxi Gómez? Making comparisons might be a bit lazy but it is fair to say that Gómez’ style of play is similar to that of Luis Suárez. Both are robustly built and use their body a lot when facing opponents. A trait both players also possess is their opportunistic nature, willing to take on a shot from every angle and always speculating for one wrong back pass or sloppy control.
It’s qualities like these that made Nacional captain Diego Polenta, for example, say that Gómez is “the most difficult No9” he’s played against. With nine goals in eleven league games this season and being one of Defensor’s key players in the charge for the Apertura title, there is a case to be made that Gómez is the best striker on the Uruguayan fields.
Many compatriots of Gómez have made the move to Spain and some have been more successful than others with Diego Forlán and Luis Suárez falling into the ‘successful’ category. The pair has over 200 La Liga goals between them and are widely regarded as some of La Liga’s finest imports. A goal tally anywhere near to theirs and we could say Gómez will become a hit.
However, Spain has also seen some flops coming from Uruguay with Malaga striker Michael Santos being the latest. The former River Plate Montevideo captain made a promising start to his career at La Rosaleda but has failed to follow up on it and as a consequence has barely featured in the second half of the season.
Although the heights of Suárez and Forlán will be hard to replicate, Gómez has all the capabilities of shining in a big European league. At 20, he is still young and has lots of room to grow. Under the guidance of fellow South American Eduardo Berizzo – coach of Celta de Vigo – Gómez seems to be moving to the right club.
He will face some tough competition for his place in the team, though, as Iago Aspas and John Guidetti are two of Celta’s most important players. Time is on Gómez’ side, however, and if he keeps progressing as he has done in the last eighteen months, he will surpass his competitors rather sooner than later.