21:21 27th June 2014
. . . Swans really wanted me, declares striker
Striker Bafetimbi Gomis has revealed that it was Swansea City’s refusal to give up the hunt that persuaded him to leave France for a new life in Wales.
The 28-year-old hit-man signed a four-year deal on a free-transfer from Lyon on Friday night to give manager Garry Monk a huge boost ahead of the new Barclays Premier League campaign.
“I’ve been really impressed speaking with the manager and the chairman over the last few days,’’ declared Gomis. “They showed they really wanted me - and that’s one of the main reasons I chose Swansea ahead of the other interested clubs.
“They’ve been trying for over a year to sign me. It didn’t quite happen back then, but they kept trying and I’m absolutely delighted to be here now.
“Although I’ve been aware of Swansea for a number of seasons, I’ve been following them a lot closer since the interest first materialised last year.
“It’s a proud club with strong philosophies. It is growing all the time and I’m honoured to be given the opportunity to be part of it.
“I watched a number of games last season and I think the style will suit me. It’s a collective, passing approach which I like.
“I think the way the team play creates lots of chances for the striker and hopefully I can score plenty of goals.’’
Gomis, better known as Bafe, will give Monk a huge added option in attack after Wilfried Bony lit up the Premier League in his debut campaign last season with 25 goals.
Although Gomis will have to wait for Bony to return from his World Cup exploits with the Ivory Coast to strike up a working relationship, the French international is excited about the prospect.
“I do not see Wilfried Bony as competition, more of an association, because I know we can also play perfectly together,’’ added Gomis. “We can benefit each other and that will be strong for the team.’’
It will be the first time that Gomis will play his football outside his native France after coming through the youth ranks at St Etienne to make a 13m euro move to Lyon in 2009.
And having amassed 47 goals in his last two season, Gomis is relishing the opportunity to test himself in a league regarded as the best in the world.
“I am looking forward to playing in the Premier League, especially as it is the first time I have played my football outside France,’’ he added.
“I don’t think I will have a problem settling in. I’ve already been made to feel very welcome by everyone here over the last few days. They have been very kind to me.
“Now I am looking forward to meeting my new teammates and to help the team. I’ve heard that there is a good atmosphere in the group and in the stadium with the fans on match days.
“I can’t wait to play my first home game here to feel that atmosphere for myself.’’
* The move is subject to international clearance.