There’s something about the signing of Gustavo Hamer that feels as if it is more of a formal announcement of our return to the Championship than the EFL statement which actually confirmed it. Reportedly, our most expensive signing since Freddy Eastwood in 2008, Gustavo Hamer is a significant investment for the club right now – both in terms of our return to the Championship and given the financial impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. A highly-rated player in the Netherlands, having been among the most creative players in the Dutch top-flight, the addition of Hamer, nonetheless, is a gamble by the club due to the player’s inexperience of English football.
A central midfielder who played the majority of his football last season at right-back, Hamer appears to be arriving as a replacement for Liam Walsh as the creative midfield fulcrum of the team. A return of four goals and six assists in a top-flight league is promising, although just how that translates to the Championship remains to be seen. While he played a lot of football last season at right-back, Hamer scored and created more often when played in central midfield, which is why he has been earmarked as Liam Walsh’s replacement. Hamer is also a regular set-piece taker, which could prove useful over the course of next season.
There is no way to tell at this juncture whether Gustavo Hamer will be a success at Coventry City. It is a sign of the financial gulf between League One and the Championship that when the club makes its most expensive signing in a decade, that player arrives with no guarantee of success in the second-tier. However, by recruiting outside the pool of proven Championship players that a lot of the clubs at that level will be looking at, it may help the club make up for that financial gulf. The signing of Gustavo Hamer is a gamble, but it represents the kind of ‘outside the box’ thinking that may be required for us to compete in the Championship.