In hindsight, Maxi Gomez could hardly have picked a worse time to open up about his infamous aborted move to West Ham United last summer.
A mere mention of the Uruguayan’s name will give Hammers fans everywhere a nasty case of déjà vu. Before Sebastien Haller arrived at the London Stadium for a club-record fee, Gomez was their number one striker target - it was common knowledge.
Sky Sports even claimed that West Ham had a £29 million bid accepted from Celta Vigo, but one of the year's longest running transfer sagas had one last twist with the old-school number nine choosing to stay in Spain rather than join Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
“West Ham was real, a big club. But the truth is that when I found out about Valencia I didn’t hesitate: because of the language, the club, the league,” Gomes told the Guardian on Wednesday.
But if West Ham fans were reading Gomez’s comments with more than a hint of bitterness, that disappointment soon turned to relief. Because, by the time the day drew to a close, Gomez’s reputation as one of the game’s most promising young strikers had taken a battering.
That’s what happens when you contrive to miss an open goal from a matter of yards in the Champions League after all. Gomez even followed up that head-in-the-hands moment by spurning another glorious chance with Valencia forced to settle for a 2-2 draw with Chelsea.
Suddenly, West Ham fans are viewing their one-that-got-away in a rather different light.
Maxi Gomez looking like the type of striker West Ham would go after, oh wait— Haddow (@JamShaddow) November 27, 2019
Think we dodged a bullet with Maxi Gomez pic.twitter.com/Ft60LB4p4y— West Ham Gossip (@westham_gossip) November 27, 2019
West Ham fully dodged a bullet with this Maxi Gomez chap— Noah (@noahmolloy14) November 27, 2019
He could be our goalkeeper right now, and save us while Fab is out.— COYI!!! (@Nathanbi77) November 27, 2019
Gomez tonight was the attacking version of the West Ham keeper— Moscrop (@AndyMoscrop) November 27, 2019
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