Perhaps here's all we need to know of André Gomes. At one time, he was next in the pipeline of Axel Witsel, Javi Garcia, and Nemanja Matic. In fact, he was an unused sub when Benfica took on and lost to Chelsea in the 2013 Europa League final.
Unlike the aforementioned names, it didn't quite happen for Gomes at Benfica. Their new hotness is a towering Greek god called Andreas Samaris. So Gomes ended up at Valencia, first just on paper as he remained at Benfica to see out the second half of the 2013-14 season -- during which time he was starting to show his quality more consistently, especially in the Europa League -- and then permanently starting this summer. Or winter. It's all a bit convoluted with third-party owners and plenty of room for financial shenanigans to sort out later. The important part is that his progress and development since have been so fast, Manchester United already came calling in January. The 21-year-old flat out rejected them.
"There was an offer for me this winter, but it did not interest me because I wanted to stay here, I do not care anymore, I want to be here."
"I do not care about what clause I have, if I do not want to go I do not go, put 50, 100 or 150 million euros."
"My progression here has been very fast and I am very comfortable here."
-André Gomes; source: Express, Feb. 20, 2015
But now, according to local sources, Chelsea have entered the race for the player's signature, with Jose Mourinho keeping his eyes firmly on his fellow Portuguese. Super agent Jorge Mendes is in the picture somehow as well -- but of course he is -- having apparently recommended to Valencia's owner that he sign the midfielder in the first place. With the release clause set in the region of a rather eye-watering €50m, and other outlets running with a rumored bid of over £25m, Gomes will not come cheap, especially given his reluctance to leave the Mestalla.
Were he to change his mind, there's certainly plenty here to get us excited. He's a rare combination of size (6'2"), speed, and skill, with plenty of room to grow and develop even further. He's got a good burst, a quick first step, excellent vision and awareness, and dare I say, even Pogba-esque feats of jawdroppingness at times. Sure, he might bite off more than he can chew at times, but he is just 21. Comfortable in a midfield two, or three, as a controller or as a creator, as a #10 or a #8 and even on the wing, he's got a great left-foot and a decent right. He received his first senior cap for Portugal in September. The kid's certainly going places. Question is, where?