In a new series of articles, FantasySports.co.uk will analyse the likely formation and performance impact that players would have on some of the Premier League’s greatest clubs. Today, we ask the question: ‘How would Barcelona player Andre Gomes fit in at Arsenal?’
Our analysis series is to assist Fantasy Premier League managers in understanding the impact Andre Gomes could have next season in the English top-flight.
Analysis: How would Barcelona player Andre Gomes fit in at Arsenal?
Portugal’s Andre Gomes is just entering his prime football years. The central midfielder will turn 25 on July 30th. A product of Porto and Benfica’s youth academies, Gomes is a technical midfielder capable of creating goals and controlling the centre of the park.
Gomes joined current club Barcelona in 2016. Despite finding playing time hard to come by due to the Spanish club’s strength, Gomes has produced at times when on the pitch. Unfortunately, Gomes’ first season at Camp Nou was far more successful than his sophomore year with Barcelona.
In 2016-17, Gomes scored three goals and tallied two assists in 30 La Liga fixtures. Thirteen of his appearances came as starts as Gomes accumulated 1,592 minutes. Last term wasn’t quite as successful for Gomes in a Barcelona shirt. The Portuguese international played just 16 league matches with 10 of those appearances coming from the start of matches. He registered fewer than 600 minutes in La Liga.
Gomes did appear in 15 matches in Champions League and Copa del Rey fixtures. He accumulated just one assist in those cup fixtures.
A majority of Gomes’ appearances for Barcelona in 2017-18 came on the left side of midfield. Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde opted for a 4-4-2 formation for much of the season. It left Gomes without a position as Valverde preferred a pairing of Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets in central midfield.
When Valverde deployed a 4-2-3-1 formation, Gomes found a place in the side as a holding midfielder paired with Rakitic. Laying deep prevented him from playing defensive cutting passes or scoring goals, however.
Gomes may not score goals and assists points for Fantasy Premier League managers. His best season in those departments came in 2014-15 and 2015-16 while playing for Valencia. In his first season with Valencia in 2014-15, Gomes scored four goals. A season later, he tallied four assists. He has been unable to reach those stats since.
FPL managers would hope Gomes provides defensive points through tackles and interceptions. Yet, the midfielder didn’t offer much in those departments last season. He tallied just 1.2 tackles per match and 0.3 interceptions.
Gomes may not be the midfield answer FPL managers have been looking for. Arsenal’s new manager Unai Emery is expected to play a 4-3-3 with traditional central midfielders. Whether Gomes would get the chance to make cutting forward passes or get close enough to goal like he did at Valencia is anyone’s guess right now.