Published on February 15th, 2018 | by David Kraakman0
3 Uruguayans making waves in Europe on and off the pitch
From a Uruguayan coach fixing a tarnished reputation to a new beast of a forward up front for Celta, Uruguayans are having a wonderful week
Maxi Gómez – the young forward with veteran instincts
While Luis Suárez and Edinson Cavani keep Uruguayans optimistic for the upcoming World Cup, the country has another ace up the sleeve with Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gómez. The 21-year-old is playing his first season in Europe after coming over from Defensor Sporting last summer but hasn’t needed any time for adaptation.
Gómez scored a double against Real Sociedad on his official debut for the club and managed to score another two goals last Sunday in a 2-2 draw with Espanyol. It has put his season tally up to 12 goals in La Liga, making him the joint-fourth highest goal scorer in the division.
The striker’s strong physique, which allows him to dominate defenders, combined with his decent link-up play, great heading abilities and smart off-the-ball movement make Gómez a tricky customer for every defender in the business. Gómez could soon be off to a big European club.
Gus Poyet – ready to prove the media wrong
When Gus Poyet was appointed as manager of Bordeaux the general opinion was how he could land another high-profile job like this one. Sure he has had some mediocre spells as a coach, especially his time at Shanghai Shenhua but there have been good stints as well.
For example, his first job at Brighton and Hove Albion was exceptional. The former Chelsea and Tottenham clinched promotion to the Championship in his second season in charge and almost reached the Premier League two years later before being sacked live on air. It was weird, seeing how good of a job Poyet had done.
He went to manage in the Premier League, as he took over at Sunderland. He miraculously kept the Black Cats up in his first season, while also taking them to a cup final. Now at Bordeaux, Poyet is doing a nice job as well. He has won his first three games at the French club and is pushing for Europa League qualification.
Diego Laxalt – the unlikely match winner
In the space of six days, Diego Laxalt won his club Genoa two games with injury-time goals. First it was against Lazio and this weekend, Chievo Verona were the victims of a late goal by the 25-year-old wide player.
Laxalt’s goals have guided Genoa ten points away from the relegation zone, underlining the importance of the Uruguayan’s goals. With form like this, it is highly likely that Laxalt will be in contention for Uruguay’s World Cup squad as he offers something different. His pace can stretch defenses and when on the ball he can create something as well.
There has already been talk of a bigger clubs in Italy wanting to sign him and the upcoming summer could see that become reality.