When a player of Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez’s quality is linked with a possible move, usually we’re forced to endure months and months of tedious speculation over whether he’ll actually end up leaving.
What’s that you say? He’s completely fallen out with the manager and subsequently hasn’t played for about a month? Oh right – yeah, he’s definitely on the move.
So that’s the first hurdle jumped, now to the next big question – where will he go?
Chances are the Atalanta man will remain in Serie A, with a host of Italian clubs keen to acquire his services including Inter, Juventus, Fiorentina, Torino and Milan. However, that shouldn’t stop Premier League clubs looking on with interest.
With a move seemingly destined to happen in the coming weeks, we’ve listed all the English clubs who should be looking to sign the talented Argentinian.
In recent years, Liverpool have become renowned for their measured approach to transfer business. Therefore, it would be extremely unlikely were they to make a last-ditch attempt to sign Gomez – but that’s not to say they shouldn’t.
Winning the Premier League last year was a monumental achievement, but if they were to retain their crown in one of the most unpredictable seasons we’ve ever had – that would be some effort.
The prospect of back-to-back titles is well in reach, though Jurgen Klopp’s side have been seriously hampered by injuries this season, with Diogo Jota still sidelined.
Takumi Minamino clearly isn’t up to the task of filling in for some of Liverpool’s biggest players, and the purchase of Gomez would mean Klopp had some much-needed depth were his side to continue to struggle with injuries.
Jose Mourinho made strengthening Tottenham’s midfield a priority when he arrived at the club, and he’s done a brilliant job of it.
However, Spurs need to let the handbrake go a little, and without a real creative force in midfield they’re struggling to do it.
Tanguy Ndombele looks a class act at times, but he’s not consistent enough to be relied upon as the team’s number one midfield spark.
Mourinho is rumoured to be interested in both Marcel Sabitzer and ex-Spurs man Christian Eriksen, and Gomez would be a great alternative if that’s the kind of player he’s looking to recruit.
Nuno Espirito Santa has moved away from the wing-back system which has served him so well in recent years, with Wolves now deploying a 4-4-2 formation.
The move has highlighted a major weakness in their side, in that they lack guile in the centre of the pitch. Without their pacy forwards out wide, Wolves need something extra in midfield, and – as fantastic as Leander Dendoncker, Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho are – they just don’t have that craft.
Without Raul Jimenez in the side Wolves look a little toothless going forward, and the arrival of Gomez could both boost their attack and also eventually help out the likes of Morgan Gibbs-White.
Name any half-decent footballer in the world and you could probably say ‘yeah, Arsenal could do with him’.
Perhaps a tad harsh as the Gunners have improved in recent weeks, but Mikel Arteta shouldn’t overlook the fact his side really need some quality additions.
Dani Ceballos occasionally looks a threat in midfield, but more often than not he finds himself picking up the ball in deeper areas and so is unable to impact the final third.
If Arsenal can add a quality number ten like Gomez to their side, it could see Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang return to form and suddenly things are looking up for the Gunners.
Never underestimate the pulling power of Carlo Ancelotti – if he wants a player then there’s always a chance.
The arrival of James Rodriguez has definitely added a spark to the Everton starting XI, and with players like Lucas Digne in the side they’re always going to be a threat from the wide areas.
However, Gylfi Sigurdsson just hasn’t had the impact you’d expect of a £45m player, and because of that they’ve struggled to break teams down through the centre.
The aerial ability of Dominic Calvert-Lewin means the Toffees win more than their fair share of games by providing him service from the wings, but if they could break teams down centrally as well it would add another string to their bow.
With Sergio Aguero potentially heading for the Etihad exit door and Gabriel Jesus not really providing the goods, Pep Guardiola has been forced to utilise Kevin De Bruyne in a false number nine role of late.
Signing Gomez would either mean he could fill the creative void left by De Bruyne in midfield when he pushes further forward, or the Argentinian could even play as an unorthodox frontman himself.
It’s certainly not a long-term fix to City’s striker dilemma, but if they can lure Gomez to the Premier League it would certainly give Guardiola options.