TOM COLLOMOSSE: Gustavo Hamer is the Dutch-Brazilian turned Coventry native fueling the Sky Blues’ promotion charge – whatever happens at Wembley, the Premier League and beyond beckons
- The midfielder was the star man as Coventry defeated Boro in the semi-finals
- Like team-mate Viktor Gyokeres, Hamer won’t last long in the Championship
- The 25-year-old still harbours aspirations of a move to boyhood club Feyenoord
A Dutch-Brazilian who has been adopted as a Coventry native is driving the Sky Blues towards their greatest day for nearly four decades. Gustavo Hamer’s barnstorming midfield performances in the play-off semi-finals against Middlesbrough took Coventry to within a victory over the Premier League.
This is a club that was last in the top flight in 2001, was in League Two only five years ago and has spent much of the last two decades plagued by financial difficulties and off-field uncertainty. Luton, their opponents at Wembley on Saturday, are one of the few clubs to have fallen further in that time, all the way to the National League.
Along with Viktor Gyokeres, Hamer has added stardust to a durable, well-coached side this season. He delivered nine goals and 10 assists during the regular season and scored the only goal across the two legs against Boro. Gyokeres hit 22 goals in all competitions across the campaign.
Both will be key at Wembley against a well-disciplined Luton unit and if promotion is sealed, Coventry will hope to build their Premier League team around them.
That should be no issue with Hamer, who loves the club, is adored by supporters and has settled superbly in the West Midlands since moving from Dutch club PEC Zwolle in July 2020.
Gustavo Hamer’s midfield performances have had a huge impact for the Sky Blues this season
The 25-year-old was the difference in the second-leg of Coventry’s play-off semi final against Middlesbrough earlier this month
The 25-year-old has only one year remaining on his contract but would be more than happy to sign a new one following promotion. If they do not go up, though, it is inevitably a different conversation – as it would be for Gyokeres.
Both players have been on the radar of Premier League clubs for some time and there will undoubtedly be offers, with the pair in a strong position contractually.
Either way, it is difficult to see either completing 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 about £1.2million for him. If Hamer moves this summer, Coventry could expect about ten times that sum.
Hamer was born in Brazil but left South America during early childhood and joined the Feyenoord academy. Though he never established himself in Rotterdam, Hamer retains huge affection for the newly crowned Dutch champions.
‘For me, the focus is now on a step up towards 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 nice, but these are my real goals now.
‘England attracted me very much and Coventry was a perfect step. Here I was sure that I would play regularly. In the end I never regretted it for a moment. I play everything here and this team really feels like family.’
Hamer’s team-mate Viktor Gyokeres (left) is another player that will draw interest win or lose
Since his move to Coventry in 2020, Hamer has been overwhelming adopted by his new city
Put Hamer in any midfield in the bottom half of the Premier League and he would improve it. He allies excellent technique with tremendous running power and tactical intelligence, and possesses a ferocious will to win.
He is rarely injured, either. Given his energetic style, it would be no surprise if Hamer’s body suffered the consequences.
Instead, he made 44 appearances this season, after 41 in the previous campaign and 44 in the one before that.
There are many talented players outside the top flight but if a club can count on them for only half a season, there is little point taking the risk. With Hamer, they know he will be there nearly every week.
Coventry hope those qualities will help them take the final step but whatever the outcome at Wembley, Hamer has plenty of reasons to be excited about the future.