Celta Vigo have carved out something of a reputation for signing relatively-unknown players at low prices, with the likes of Daniel Wass, Pione Sisto and Stanislav Lobotka examples in their first team right now, all bargains the type of which this Betsafe review can help deliver. But the player who has been probably the biggest revelation this season, not just at Celta but also in La Liga is Maxi Gomez.
Signed in the summer for around €4m from Defensor Sporting in Uruguay, Maxi’s equaliser at Camp Nou on Saturday was his seventh goal of the campaign. Los Celestes discovered the 21-year-old after he scored 10 goals in 12 games to lead his previous employers to a League title.
Looking at Maxi’s style of play, it’s not difficult to see why he hasn’t taken long to adapt to the rigours of Spanish football. Standing at 6’1, with a suitably bulky frame, he is not afraid to put himself about and let defenders know he is there, illustrated by the fact he has already been booked six times this season. This also aids his ability to hold the ball up and bring others in to play, a trait more suited to football in Europe.
“Adapting to Spanish football isn’t easy, I’d been warned about it by several players who played here before,” he admitted. “The football’s different here because they play more long balls in Uruguay.”
It is important for a striker to know where the goals are, though, and that is one of Maxi’s best assets. He possesses predatory instincts that make him a lethal, penalty-box forward, with all of his goals for Celta having been scored in the box. Naturally, this style of play and ruthlessness in front of goal has earned the No 7 comparisons with his compatriot and role model, Luis Suarez.
“He’s my idol, I admire him a lot for how he works, how he loses his marker, the diagonal runs he makes and everything else,” added the attacker. “In Uruguay, it’s often said that I’m his heir in the national team, I hope that’s the case.”
His form has not gone unnoticed, with Maxi being included in the most recent Uruguay squad and a reported €25 million offer on the table from Chinese side Beijing Guoan. He has stated that he is happy at Celta, but whether or not the money will talk in the future is another matter.
Right now, Juan Carlos Unzue has a very dangerous forward line on his hands, as Barcelona will testify, given their problems in dealing with Maxi, Iago Aspas and Sisto in their 2-2 draw last weekend. With Aspas back in form, scoring goals should certainly not be a problem.
What else is certain is that Celta have done it again in unearthing an absolute gem in Maxi. Don’t be surprised to find him rocking up at one of Europe’s top clubs in the not-too-distant future.