Baf Gomis: French Expert On Newcastle's Next Number 9

He's been regularly linked with a move to the Premier League, and his record in France hints he could succeed. Here's his vital stats...
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He's been regularly linked with a move to the Premier League, and his record in France hints he could succeed. Here's his vital stats...

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Born in 1985 on the Cote d’Azur from Senegalese parents, Newcastle target Gomis grew up in downtown Toulon. Scouted by Saint-Etienne, he joined their youth academy aged 15. Three years later, he was offered his professional debut in the French second tier where the club was then struggling. Nonetheless, Saint-Etienne earned promotion to the Ligue 1 but could not offer the young Gomis much playing time and he was subsequently sent on loan to Troyes to gain experience in the Ligue 2. He scored 6 in 4 months before returning to Geoffroy Guichard.

Fortunately for him, a place in the attacking lineup was left vacant six months later with Frederic Piquionne’s departure to Monaco in January 2007. He then began the season as a starter for most games, celebrating every goal he scored with a panther mimic making of him a fans’ favorite as the animal is a club’ symbol and the move invented by Brazilian striker Alex a few years before in the same stadium.

With 16 goals scored, he ended the 2007-2008 season on the third step of the top scorer’s podium behind Karim Benzema and Mamadou Niang. In the meantime, he was offered his first caps under the national jersey before going to Switzerland for the 2008 Euro. He managed to score a brace during his first appearance, a feat accomplished last by nobody else than Zinedine Zidane. This season followed and preceded a 10 goal term during which his influence on the team’s results did not fade once.

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The summer of 2009 would see the player go to war with his board and despite the club claiming more than once that they wanted to keep their hold on their forward, Bafetimbi Gomis was sold to arch rival Lyon for 15M€. He did the brave 50km move to a club reigning on the league and signed a contract linking him for 5 years.

There despite difficult relations with the local fans, he enjoyed a decent first term at Gerland, scoring 10 times in the league and reaching the Champions League semi-final. The following years would be a mixture of highs and lows. His partnership with Lisandro Lopez struggling to get efficient enough, he was sometimes sent on the wing. Despite these difficulties he managed to join legends Van Basten, Inzaghi, Prso, Van Nistelrooy, Shevchenko and Messi as a Champions League quadruple scorer following a 7-1 demolition of Dinamo Zagreb in Decembre 2011.

As of today, Bafetimbi Gomis is the best French goal scorer in activity in the Ligue 1, he ended the 7 last seasons with a double figure of goals scored in the league. His strength and abilities in front of goal are not to be argued anymore.

The very last hiccup is his contractual situation. Gomis has one year left on his contract with Lyon. It seems like the perfect timing for a new adventure but more than anything else the last chance for a sell from the point of view of Jean-Michel Aulas. The Lyon’s chairman said it loud, his striker is for sale. But rather unusually, we are in a situation where a player goes to war with his board because he wants to stay where he is…