Player Profile: Bafetimbi Gomis
Towards the end of the January transfer window Bafetimbi Gomis was getting itchy feet. With no signs of displacing the imperious and free-scoring Wilfried Bony, the Frenchman was rumoured to be headed back to Ligue 1 or elsewhere. Such a move ultimately failed to materialise, and Gomis was finally granted the coveted centre-forward role when Bony was snapped up by Manchester City.
Since then it’s been a gradual and steady upturn in form and fortunes for the ex-Lyon man – who struck an exceptional 108 goals in 178 games for his old employers. After a quiet start, he has now put away five goals from 15 Premier League starts. Coming into the last run of the season, he looks confident and poised for a strong finish.
Early in the season, Gomis looked very much a square peg in this Swansea City line-up. With Bony the undisputed starting striker, the France international was either shifted into the wide channels or reduced to cup appearances when on-field. Since the Ivorian’s departure, Gomis has turned his standing 180 degrees.
The frontman’s first goal for the club came against Arsenal in November, but that marked his only such success in 2014. His emergence in recent weeks – firstly against Manchester United in Gameweek 26 – has shown the central starting position brings the best out of an undeniably talented individual.
Over the past six games, Gomis has considerably upped the ante on his goal threat and general all-round impact. Scoring four goals in that time frame, he falls just behind the good company of Giroud (7), Benteke (7), Kane (6) and Glenn Murray (5). All our strikes have come from within the penalty area, and proves Gomis is at his most threatening in this part of the field.
Getting into position to score has rarely been a problem for him since . His 42 attempts on goal in 2015 are the fourth most by a Premier League striker. His recent run of form has been a reward for showing such a consistent ability to get in the right positions.
Swansea’s style of play seems to prioritise the role of a powerful centre-forward, but as an out and out target man, Gomis doesn’t quite fit that mode. Undoubtedly an efficient operator in the box – putting away his four goals from 25 touches in the area – the Frenchman has produced none of these through his aerial threat. While his headed attempts on goal amass a quarter of his total efforts on goal, he’s thus far converted none.
It’s clear from watching Gary Monk’s side that the Frenchman is charged with playing as an out and out centre forward while the likes of Shelvey, Ki and Sigurdsson supplement his endeavours from midfield. However, an increased effort to get the ball into his feet may pay dividends.
The one-time Ligue 1 starlet undoubtedly hit his Premier League high point in Gameweek 30, with two expertly dispatched goals at home to Hull. Meeting both Everton and Newcastle over the next two fixtures, Gomis certainly has scope to add to his recent good work.
Gomis appears to be feeling at home in Wales after being initially unsettled by a lack of playing time. He has already declared a desire to remain at the club next season and this happiness appears to be helping him show his true potential on the pitch. Valued at £8.9m on PlayON, the Swansea man should certainly have his admirers in Gameweek 32.