Belfast Telegraph

Gomis pays his respects

Swansea striker Bafetimbi Gomis explained his French flag-waving goal celebration against West Ham was a show of unity to his country after a week of terror in Paris.

Gomis rescued a point for Swansea when he rose majestically at a 74th-minute corner - even if he might not be credited with a fifth goal of the season as the ball hit a post and was possibly on the way out before striking West Ham midfielder Mark Noble on the line.

The 29-year-old Frenchman celebrated by running to the Swansea bench where he was handed a French tricolour, raising it aloft and looking to the skies in memory of those who lost their lives in the Paris terror attacks this week.

"It wasn't an easy week for all French people and I wanted to join my country even though I don't live there any more," Gomis told the official Swansea website.

"I am happy Swansea supported me in this difficult time to provide me with the armband and the French flag to show my support towards my country."

Gomis was deputising for the absent Wilfried Bony who is away on international duty with the Ivory Coast at the African Nations Cup and looks unlikely to return as Swansea and Manchester City finalise the details on the striker's £28million transfer to the Etihad Stadium, with a fee now understood to have been agreed.

"I am happy for my goal but I thought we deserved the victory," Gomis said.

"We pushed hard and created a lot of chances and I thought we deserved to win.

"Even though we had some players missing we created a lot of chances.

"I have been working very hard and my team-mates have all helped me a lot."

Gomis himself has been linked with a move from Swansea in the January transfer window with Crystal Palace, West Ham, Newcastle and Aston Villa all said to be monitoring the striker's situation at the Liberty Stadium.

But Swansea skipper Ashley Williams, who made his 300th appearance for the club against West Ham, said Gomis was an important part of the squad and now had the perfect opportunity to show his ability.

"I'm delighted for Bafe, I thought he had a good game again and he's showed what he's all about in the last few weeks," Williams said.

"It was a brilliant goal and he showed his strength all match.

"Wilf's not here for at least a month and it's his time to shine now.

"He did that and I've got no concerns with Bafe coming in, he's a a very fine player and I knew he'd do a job for us."

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