|Andre Gomes in action for Barcelona against Celtic|
Something every Barça fan would want to happen again is the club’s wonderful display to see off Celtic 7-0 in the UEFA Champions League. The game was one rare game in which all Barça players were on top form, or at least a form that is far from being bad. From Marc Andre Ter Stegen saving a penalty to Lionel Messi hitting a hat-trick to Neymar pulling off four assists.. one might deduce the performance will go on to be Barça’s best this season even if Cules wouldn’t want that.
Of course Neymar and Messi got the headlines, yes, it’s normal, they are the best players and put up outstanding performances irrespective of their numbers, but there was also one man who was god-like throughout the game and it was Barça’s new signing and 23-year old Portuguese Andre Gomes.
Andre Gomes picked up an injury on international duty and Luis Enrique left him out of the squad in Barça’s 2-1 home loss to Alaves on Saturday. Lucho threw him into the starting lineup for the game against Celtic ahead of Iniesta and Denis Suarez and it turned out to be a very good decision. The midfielder played like he’s been a Barça player for 15 years and 9 months, bossing the midfield just like anchor Iniesta would.
One of the fears of Barça fans about Luis Enrique starting Gomes in his Champions League debut was that he might be nervous, but that wasn’t the case; he played with great composure and was very comfortable in midfield, understanding Sergio Busquets well. He didn’t try to do much in the Celtic boss just like a veteran Barça midfielder would, all that mattered was that he had the entire midfield in his palm and didn’t allow Celtic play football as he was good in his defensive contributions also.
Andre Gomes was Barça’s best passer of the night against Celtic, the big-footed midfielder (as speculated) attempted a whooping 100 passes during the game, more than any other player. That still isn’t what is amazing, the amazing thing is that he only misplaced 4 passes out of the 100 he attempted, completing 96 with a 96% accuracy. His passing was a plus as he wasn’t shy to switch plays like Iniesta would, and he also played some very good angular pass too.
Barça have seen a lot of midfield maestros bossing not only the midfield but the entire world.. legend Xavi Hernandez was a specialist, Iniesta and Busquets are doing wonders right now and with the performance Andre Gomes put up against Celtic it suggests the former Valencia man might just be the next Barça midfield maestro as he showed great character and 100% traits of a controller, an anchor, a conductor, the kind of midfielders Barça value.
It is a valid point to state that it is too early to judge if he’s good or not, it indeed is too early, it showed in his game – despite his very good performance there was still some things he’ll still need to adapt to, however, he scored 100/100 for a midfielder playing his first Champions League game for Barça.
If Andre Gomes continues this way, he might just be that midfield heir Barça have been looking for in a long time. At least he’s shown he’s capable and we can only hope he is consistent. Everything suggest he’s walking the right path to greatness and it is a very good thing.. another anchor is a plus.