As Valencia fell to another defeat to Bilbao on Tuesday, the club´s big summer signing Maxi Gómez continued his dreadful run without a goal which is now on 14 games. Of course Valencia´s collective struggles haven’t helped the Uruguayan striker. However, Gómez has to look in the mirror and find himself again. Look for the player that became known as MaxiGol as he emerged on the scene for Celta de Vigo in 2017. During his two seasons in Galicia, Gómez made a name for himself as a penalty area predator. His big presence, great heading ability and intelligent movement stood out. From the start of 2017-18 season until the end of the 2018-19 season, Gómez scored 31 goals in La Liga. An impressive record for a young player, who just made his way to the old continent all the way from Uruguayan city Paysandú.
It is because of these numbers that Los Che decided to splash out on Gómez. A decision they don’t have to regret yet. Valencia as a whole are a mess at the moment. The ownership of Peter Lim has resulted in a divided club and it has reflected onto the pitch as two managers have already been sacked this season. This kind of environment is obviously not great for players to perform in. While this is not an excuse to Gómez´ substandard debut season at the Estadio Mestalla, it certainly is a unfortunate factor.
There have been some good moments in Gómez´ Valencia career. His winner away at Espanyol, his bicycle kick goal against Getafe or what to think of his doblete to down reigning champions Barcelona at the Mestalla? However, for every goal he has scored, there have been a few too many misses. Namely in the Champions League, Gómez has failed to impress and did not score a single goal in six outings. That’s simply not good enough.
Now, at 23-years-of-age, Gómez has reached a defining moment in his career. Up until this season, his career has been in continual growth. From his early days at Defensor Sporting to his first European experiences at Celta, Gómez found the back of the net many times and developed other areas of his game along the way. This process has come to a standstill at Valencia.
While initially being considered one of the best young strikers in Europe, some have started to label Gómez a flop. For me that judgement is a bit too premature, but the pressure is undoubtedly on Maxi Gómez to deliver on his promise soon. Otherwise, Valencia will look elsewhere and Gómez will probably take a step backwards.