With the summer creeping ever closer and clubs planning their moves, amongst the reports circulating, according to the Sunday People, are rumours that Newcastle and Liverpool are keeping tabs on Sevilla striker Kevin Gameiro.
Would the Frenchman be a shrewd piece of business for either of the Premier League clubs? Well, it was certainly that when Sevilla sporting director Monchi signed Gameiro in the summer of 2013, paying €10 million for the player on a five-year deal from PSG, after having just cashed in on Álvaro Negredo, who moved to Manchester City for a reported fee of £16.4 million.
Settling in La Liga
Sevilla paid what they would consider a hefty price for Gameiro, but despite some initial injury issues, during the 2013-14 campaign he more than proved his worth to Unai Emery's side, as he competed alongside another striker signing that summer, Carlos Bacca.
More often than not throughout the course of the season, Gameiro and Bacca would either be rotated as the 'tip of the lance' in a 4-2-3-1 or play alongside one another in a 4-4-2. Individually both operated well leading the line, or in tandem when working together, which regularly gave their manager a positive problem to resolve, when it came to his starting line-ups.
Gameiro made a total of 35 appearances, 20 of those in the starting 11 in La Liga, scoring 15 goals, as Sevilla finished fifth in the table. In the Europa League he contributed five goals in 12 games, as the Andaluz side made their way to the final, then scored the crucial fourth from the spot to beat Benfica in a penalty shoot-out.
All in all, an excellent first season with Sevilla and a sound return on the investment the Andaluz club made.
2014-15 Season So Far
Unfortunately for Gameiro, his appearance in the Europa League final would prove to be his last for many months. A ligament injury in his right knee during pre-season proving a setback to Sevilla plans, which coincidentally led to Iago Aspas arriving on loan from Liverpool.
Whilst initially the problem wasn't considered too serious, it did take him several months to recover, keeping the 27-year-old out of action until mid-October 2014. However, in his first game back against Elche in La Liga, he scored the second goal in a 2-0 away victory.
Gameiro hasn't been able to repeat his scoring feats in La Liga this term, with four goals in 15 appearances, however he's made just two starts with the manager rotating his squad and holding the Frenchman in reserve for the other competitions.
In the Copa del Rey, Gameiro produced a strong return of five goals in six games before Sevilla were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Espanyol. He has also featured well in the Europa League, with two goals in six outings. Now that there are just the two competitions to run with, Emery is now utilising Gameiro more frequently in La Liga.
As long as he can avoid injuries, Gameiro remains a top-quality striker. His ratio of goals is strong, but what makes him a key player for Sevilla is his intelligent play and awareness of those around him. He's smart with and without the ball, great at finding a yard of space and making the most in exploiting it. He's one of those players who could comfortably slot into a team within any of the top leagues in Europe, and continue to perform to a very high standard.
As for the prices being quoted in the English media, bids of £10 million aren't likely to lure Sevilla into selling Gameiro. It's worth noting that his release clause, with three years remaining on his current contract, is a whopping €50 million (just over £35 million). It's unlikely we'll see anyone paying that much, but in order to tempt the Andaluz side to sell, they'll likely want to double the €10 million they paid for him.
Is he worth around €20 million (just over £14 million) in the transfer market? For a Premier League side with that to spend, on a player who is guaranteed quality and has a proven track-record of achievement, I'd have no hesitation in saying yes.