Celta Vigo have been boosted by the arrival of Uruguayan forward Maxi Gómez last summer, but the South American could be departing already
For some weeks now, reports have been emerging that Chinese Super League club Beijing Guoan have an interest in signing Celta Vigo and Uruguay striker Maxi Gómez. The 21-year-old, who came over from Uruguayan club Defensor Sporting only this summer, has impressed during his first months in Spain and has clearly been making waves.
Beijing Guoan, aware of Gómez’ potential, quickly offered €20M for the services of the Uruguayan. Celta almost instantly agreed but the player seemed adamant not to leave Europe at first. He had just debuted for the Uruguayan national team and a move to China could rule him out of the World Cup plans of Uruguay manager Óscar Tabárez next summer.
This week, however, reliable Galician media outlet Faro de Vigo has broken the news that Gómez has agreed to join Beijing Guoan, becoming Celta’s record sale. Gómez himself will earn ten times as much as he currently does at Celta, which would make it a very lucrative transfer for the man born in Paysandú.
Faro de Vigo: the sale of Maxi Gómez to China has been agreed. The deal will be finalized next week. Gómez will multiply his salary by ten and Celta will receive €20M.
Absolutely gutted about this news. The guy has the potential to become a world-class striker. pic.twitter.com/DFTG8e19Lo
— Warriors of Uruguay (@UruguayanHeroes) December 6, 2017
Having scored eight goals in thirteen league appearance for Celta this season, Gómez was always going to attract offers. His movement, fighting spirit and deadliness in front of goal makes him a unique talent for someone his age. Atlético Madrid was reportedly already looking into him but, unfortunately, the Chinese market has taken another highly-regarded footballer away from the spotlight, if the reports are true.
For Gómez, coming from a background where luxury was something far distant, this decision would be understandable. The money in China will bring his family financial security, which is what every human being sees as a primary goal in life.
On the other hand, if Gómez stays and keeps up his development, big European clubs will come calling and the big paychecks will no doubt arrive. It’s a longer and more insecure path but it’s undoubtedly one that gives the most fulfillment.
Gómez seems to have chosen for quick money in China instead and now risks losing out on a place in Uruguay’s 2018 World Cup squad. Another downside of moving to China is the possibility of development stagnation. He will play in a league lacking quality and won’t learn as much as he does in a far superior competition like La Liga.
If he does move, it is probably a short-term decision and it would be no surprise to see Gómez return to Europe in a few years. Paulinho did the same and is currently a regular for Spanish heavyweights Barcelona but that seems to be the exception rather than the rule. We will find out what effect it will have on Gómez’ career.
The striker is still young, so time is on his side. Let’s hope that I don’t have to write an article on Gómez in ten years’ time with the title; “Maxi Gómez – what could have been”.