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The inevitable has finally happened. Striker Kevin Gameiro has sought pastures new with a move away from Paris Saint-Germain by crossing the border to Spain for a new life in Seville. The Frenchman completed his move to the La Liga club yesterday, signing a five-year contract after passing his medical in the morning. The fee is believed to around €10m and for that kind of money for a striker of his calibre, you will find it hard to nominate a similar bargain this summer.
What is Paris Saint-Germain’s loss is certainly Sevilla’s gain. Gameiro leaves the club on a whimper but it has never been for the want of trying. After he signed for the club in the summer of 2011 he had a wonderful opening two months in the capital, replicating the form he showed at Lorient that brought him to the attention of so many top European clubs including Valencia. He netted a hat-trick against Ajaccio in October 2011 but then only managed to score one in 15 games after that. It was never for a lack of desire but a defeat in the Coupe de la Ligue to Dijon around that time dented much of the good feel factor around the club. That played havoc on the future of Antoine Kombouare who was eventually dismissed and that had a detrimental effect on some of the players, particularly Gameiro.
In came Carlo Ancelotti who immediately did not take to Gameiro. As he tinkered with his system in those early days of his tenure he opted to utilise the likes of Jeremy Menez and Javier Pastore as makeshift strikers, rather than play the out and out Gameiro. His confidence was absolutely shot to pieces at that time and he could never really get it back.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic arrived in the summer of 2012 which casted more doubt on the future of KG. He never got a look in as such due to the form of the enigmatic Swede who was scoring goals for fun right up until the winter break and beyond.
But, lack of game time was apparent again last season. He played a number of times in a 4-4-2 alongside Zlatan and there were some telling signs. The partnership looked complimentary, particularly in a 2-0 win over Sochaux last September where Gameiro got both goals. It boded well for him to really stake a claim as Zlatan’s go-to guy but Ancelotti opted to use other options. In fact after netting that brace, Gameiro was dropped for a Champions League tie in Porto – where we succumbed to a humbling defeat against a much better team on the night. KG deserved to start that night, no doubt about it. It was one step forward for him and then two steps back. It pretty much summed up his time in the capital.
Whenever he did play, more often than not he was ushered out wide in a three man attack where he could never really play to his full potential. He is an out and out striker that is quick, intelligent, makes clever runs behind the defence and is potent in front of goal. Unfortunately we did not see the real Kevin Gameiro in Paris but I am certain it will be different in Spain. He is a worthy replacement for Alvaro Negredo who departed for England and I am sure the fans at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan will adore him when he starts banging in the goals. Which he will!
It is a big year for him to press a claim for the Les Bleus World Cup squad in Brazil next summer. Hopefully, he will be there as his talent truly merits it.
Best of luck Kev.
Note: Gameiro scored 23 goals in 78 appearances for the club.