Wednesday 28 September 2016

Gomis close to return

Published 05/05/2015 | 22:36

Swansea striker Bafetimbi Gomis hopes to return at Arsenal on Monday after being out injured for nearly a month.
Swansea striker Bafetimbi Gomis hopes to return at Arsenal on Monday after being out injured for nearly a month.

France striker Bafetimbi Gomis is closing in on a Swansea return at Arsenal after being out for nearly a month with a hamstring tear.

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Gomis was forced off during the early stages of Swansea's 1-1 Barclays Premier League home draw with Everton on April 11 but has stepped up his training this week and hopes to feature at the Emirates Stadium on Monday.

Swansea could certainly do with the 12-times capped Gomis as loan signing Nelson Oliveria turned his ankle against Stoke last weekend and manager Garry Monk is in danger of being without a natural centre-forward at Arsenal.

"Bafe is back in training and we will have to assess if he is ready to start, but it will be good to have him back as we are getting short on bodies," Monk said.

"We have had a few injuries but that comes back to adding to the squad.

"If we'd had a few injuries to some of our consistent performers we could have been in a very different situation, and that's why we must add quality and depth to the squad this summer while not losing anything."

Gomis had scored four goals in seven games before injury struck but Swansea still have an outside chance of qualifying for next season's Europa League after closing to within four points of seventh-placed Southampton.

Monk's men have managed a club-best 53 Premier League points with three games of the season remaining and there are plans to expand the Swansea brand this summer.

Swansea hope to compete in a Texas tournament in July which would see them take on Spanish side Malaga and Mexican outfit Pachuca, while Newcastle, French team Lyon and Raja Casablanca of Morocco would play in another pool before a final round of matches.

The Welsh club visited the United States last summer and had friendlies against Minnesota United and Mexican club Chivas Guadalajara, but a high-profile tournament would break new ground for Swansea.

"It's a great sign for the club because in the past we'd be struggling to go to Tenby for the week!" Monk joked.

"We are far down the line in terms of negotiations and we are just waiting for a final few details to be confirmed before we fully commit.

"It would be excellent for us because we have not had that big arena and big tournament approach, so it is a step forward for the club and the players.

"You're also getting a chance to grow the brand a little better and America's a great market.

"We had fantastic support when we played Chivas there last year, we had a good three or four thousand in Swansea shirts and you'd never have thought that before."

Press Association

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