The former Sheffield United man tipped to be "best in MLS" after two more ex-Blades make Stateside moves

Nickseon Gomis celebrates his goal: Andrew Yates / SportimageNickseon Gomis celebrates his goal: Andrew Yates / Sportimage
Nickseon Gomis celebrates his goal: Andrew Yates / Sportimage
Former Sheffield United trio could come up against Lionel Messi and Co. at LA Galaxy after Stateside switch

Former Sheffield United defender Nickseon Gomis has been tipped to become one of the top centre-halves in the USA’s Major League Soccer this season after two more former Blades teammates made the move to join him stateside. Frenchman Gomis, a young centre-half, switched to Toronto FC earlier this year and could go up against Lionel Messi later in the season.

Former Blades youth teammates Charlie Staniland and Hassan Ayari have since joined Gomis in Toronto, Staniland leaving the Lane to make the move and Ayari ending a period without a club after he was released by United last summer following a trial period with their city rivals Wednesday. Toronto FC II boss Gianni Cimini said: “Hassan will add a creative threat in our front line and bring quality in the final action operating from the half-space. Charlie, meanwhile, can dictate the tempo of the game with his technical qualities and spatial awareness. He is also able to effectively cover central areas defensively as he reads the game very well.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Gomis was snapped up by Toronto after a successful trial period, with United due some cash if he plays a certain number of games and a sell-on clause inserted into the deal to protect the Blades’ interests if he proves a hit in the MLS. “For us, he’s come as advertised and he’s growing in confidence,” said Toronto boss John Herdman of Gomis.

“I think his durability is what we’re building, he hasn’t been able to really sustain those 90 minutes under his belt. His preseason was interrupted by a concussion, his season was interrupted by his wrist injury. When he gets that in, this is a player that is going to be one of the top centre-backs in MLS this season. That’s the expectation I have for him and the pressure we’ve been putting on him.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Gomis caught Herdman’s eye when he was scouting United for a wing-back, potentially Femi Seriki or Jili Buyabu. “Watching six, seven, eight, nine games of this wing-back, you got to see the style of play, the discipline, the intensity of their U21 players,” Herdman added.

“And then you start digging a little bit deeper into the consistency of that formation through the club… It’s a club that’s very interesting. They breed hard workers so you know the players coming out of that environment are team-first and hard work-first, which I’ve told everyone at this club has to be instilled as the first priority.”

Gomis told a press conference: “I’ve been there [at United] for a long time and I needed a fresh start. I think MLS is a good platform for young players. I think it was the best thing for me at the time.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.