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Portuguese midfielder Andre Gomes has officially been unveiled by Barcelona after completing a €35 million switch from La Liga rivals Valencia.
The 22-year old- who was formally introduced during a short ceremony at Barcelona’s mini Estadi- becomes the club’s fourth signing thus far after the acquisition of: David Suarez from Villarreal, Samuel Umtiti from Lyon and Lucas Digne from PSG.
Born Andre Filipe Tavares Gomes on 30 July 1993 in Grijo, Portugal, he- like most Portuguese superstars- began his career with FC Porto.
As a youth he had short spells at Pasteleira and Boavista before finally settling in Benfica in 2012.
Although he managed to go through the ranks up to the first team, a season-long loan spell to Valencia soon translated into a permanent deal after being assured of a place in the starting berth.
It was at the Mestalla Stadium that Gomes played some of his best football, eventually welcoming the interest of the Catalans after a successful Euro 2016 campaign with Portugal.
Where will he play?
Barcelona may have won the treble in 2015, but Luis Enrique’s charges are without question a team in transition.
Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta and Javier Mascherano form part of a slowly but surely aging old guard, weakened by the departure of Victor Valdes and Xavi Hernandez.
The club has however been timely, replacing the long serving Spaniards with Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Ivan Rakitic respectively.
Andre Gomes is a central midfielder versatile enough to double as an attacking midfielder.
In that regard, there is a fat chance of seeing the 22-year old starting in a team that already has Iniesta, Busquets and Rakitic at the middle of the park in their orthodox 4-3-3 formation.
The Catalans have in the past been heavily criticized for sidelining non-Spanish speaking players in the past- case in point Thomas Vermaleen and Arda Turan-, but Andre Gomes should however do just enough to get games under his belt on his debut season, more so in the cup competitions.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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