TOM COLLOMOSSE: Gustavo Hamer is the Dutch-Brazilian turned Coventry native fueling the Sky Blues’ promotion load – whatever happens at Wembley, the Premier League and beyond awaits you
- The midfielder was the star man as Coventry beat Boro in the semi-finals
- Like teammate Viktor Gyokeres, Hamer won’t last long in the Championship
- The 25-year-old still harbors aspirations of a move to boyhood club Feyenoord
A Dutch-Brazilian who was adopted as a Coventry native is leading the Sky Blues to their biggest day in almost four decades. Stunning performances from Gustavo Hamer in midfield in the play-off semi-final against Middlesbrough took Coventry to a victory over the Premier League.
This is a club that was last in the top flight in 2001, was in Ligue 2 only five years ago and has spent much of the last two decades plagued by financial difficulties and uncertainty off the pitch. . Luton, their opponents at Wembley on Saturday, are one of the few clubs to have fallen further in this period, down to the National League.
Along with Viktor Gyokeres, Hamer has added stardust to a durable and well-trained squad this season. He had nine goals and 10 assists during the regular season and scored the only goal in both games against Boro. Gyokeres scored 22 goals in all competitions this campaign.
The two will be key at Wembley against a well-disciplined Luton unit and if promotion is sealed, Coventry will be hoping to build their Premier League side around them.
That shouldn’t be a problem for Hamer, who loves the club, is adored by fans and has settled into the West Midlands superbly since leaving Dutch club PEC Zwolle in July 2020.
Gustavo Hamer’s performances in midfield have had a huge impact for the Sky Blues this season
The 25-year-old was the difference maker in Coventry’s play-off semi-final second leg against Middlesbrough earlier this month.
The 25-year-old has just one year left on his contract but would be more than happy to sign a new one after his promotion. If they don’t go up, however, that’s inevitably a different conversation – as it would be for Gyokères.
Both players have been on the radar of Premier League clubs for some time and there will no doubt be offers, with the pair contractually in a strong position.
Either way, it’s hard to see either of them finishing another season in the Championship.
Hamer’s move to Coventry is an example of how smart scouting pays off. They had watched Hamer closely during his two seasons at Zwolle and paid around £1.2million for him. If Hamer moves this summer, Coventry could expect around ten times that sum.
Hamer was born in Brazil but left South America during his early childhood and joined Feyenoord academy. Although he never settled in Rotterdam, Hamer retains a great affection for the new Dutch champions.
“For me, the focus now is on a step up to the Premier League, but a return to Feyenoord would also be extremely attractive,” Hamer told Dutch football website Voetbal Primeur.
“Other top leagues would also be good, but those are my real goals now.
“England attracted me a lot and Coventry was a perfect stopover. Here I was sure that I would play regularly. In the end, I never regretted it for a single moment. I play everything here and this team really feels like family.
Hamer’s teammate Viktor Gyokeres (left) is another player who will spark interest in winning or losing
Since moving to Coventry in 2020, Hamer has been overwhelmingly embraced by his new city
Put Hamer in any midfield in the bottom half of the Premier League and he would improve it. He combines excellent technique with tremendous running power and tactical intelligence, and possesses a fierce will to win.
He is rarely hurt either. Given his energetic style, it wouldn’t be surprising if Hamer’s body suffered the consequences.
Instead, he has made 44 appearances this season, after 41 in the previous campaign and 44 in the one before.
There are plenty of talented players outside the top flight but if a club can only rely on them for half a season there is no point in taking risks. With Hamer, they know he will be there almost every week.
Coventry will be hoping those qualities will help them get through the final leg, but whatever the outcome at Wembley, Hamer has plenty to be excited about the future.