'Dodged a bullet': West Ham fans mock Maxi Gomez's Champions League disaster

West Ham fans celebrate after the Carabao Cup Fourth Round match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at Wembley Stadium on October 25, 2017 in London, England.

Premier League strugglers West Ham United had a £29m bid accepted for Maxi Gomez before he chose to stay in La Liga with Valencia instead.

Celta Vigo's Uruguayan forward Maxi Gomez celebrates a goal during the Spanish league football match between RC Celta de Vigo and FC Barcelona at the Balaidos stadium in Vigo on May 4,...

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.

Maxi Gomez of Valencia CF in action during the UEFA Champions League group H match between Valencia CF and Chelsea FC at Estadio Mestalla on November 27, 2019 in Valencia, Spain.

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 of Valencia celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Liga match between Valencia CF  and Getafe CF at Estadio Mestalla on September 25, 2019 in Valencia, Spain.

 

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