THE BIG INTERVIEW: Bafe Gomis
19th September 2015
Bafe Gomis has a look of surprise etched on his face upon being informed that he has engrained his name into Swansea City history just five games into his second season with the club.
The French striker has re-written the record books by becoming the first Swans player to score in each of the first four league games of the season since 1923-24.
Michu came close to equalling the long-standing record in 2012-13 with goals against QPR, West Ham and Sunderland, but fell short when he failed to find the back of the net in his fourth successive game - as did club stalwarts Lee Trundle in 2003-04 and Herbie Williams in 1962-63.
But Gomis' strikes against Chelsea, Newcastle, Sunderland and Manchester United finally saw a Swans player equal Harry Deacon's 92-year-long record.
"It is always great to equal and break records, but the most important thing for me is that Swansea get the three points every weekend," responds Gomis via a translator, the element of surprise quickly vanishing from his face as his modesty shines through.
"If I score, then great; if I don't, then there will be chances for me in another match.
"Of course, it is important to have individual goals as well as collective goals, but, for me, it's very much about the team.
"The most important thing is that Swansea are winning games, playing well and are in a good position in the league."
Gomis' stunning form in front of goal dates back to the rear end of last season - he's scored nine goals in his last 11 Premier League appearances - and represents an impressive return for the forward after a difficult start to life in South Wales.
"When I first arrived, I found it difficult to adapt," he openly admits. "I didn't speak the language, which made it hard to understand the coach's instructions, and there was a new training regime that I needed to get used to.
"During the first few months of last season, I wasn't playing so much, but Garry spoke to me a lot and I appreciated that.
"But even when I was on the bench, I knew that if I was given a chance, I would be able to take it and score goals.
"When Wilfried (Bony) left and I had a run in the side, I was confident that I would be able to get at least ten goals from the remaining games of the season. And if I stay fit, I know that I am capable of scoring a lot more."
Much to the delight of the Swansea City faithful, Gomis has stayed true to his word, helping fire the Swans to an impressive start to the campaign, while topping the league goal scoring charts alongside Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez and Bournemouth's Callum Wilson.
His knack for finding the back of the net led him to a nomination for August's Barclays Premier League Player of the Month award, which he narrowly missed out on to his team-mate Andre Ayew.
And although he might been in competition with the Ghanaian international for last month's accolade, it is the duo's teamwork on the pitch that has been most impressive.
"It was fantastic for Swansea to get him when there were lots of clubs interested in him," says Gomis on his colleague and good friend Ayew.
"He has great quality and is still very young. Despite his age, he already has a lot of experience playing at the highest level in the Champions League, so he is already prepared to play in the Premeir League. Andre brings that extra level of quality to the team."
The 30-year-old striker's relationship with Ayew on the pitch is truly reflective of their friendship off it.
While Ayew provided a stunning assist for Gomis' match-winning strike against Manchester United last month, it was the latter that provided the former with some significant assistance upon his arrival to SA1 - even becoming his personal tour guide for a short while.
"I have known Andre for a long time," smiles Gomis. "We didn't play for the same club, but we knew each other outside of football because we had the same agent and also because Andre's father (Abedi "Pele" Ayew - Champions League winner and three-time African Player of the Year) is very famous in France.
"When he was considering coming to Swansea, I spoke to him about what the club was like.
"I told him that Swansea is a great club that plays good football and that he should come here.
"I also told him that the supporters are fantastic here and the Welsh are great people and very welcoming.
"Since his arrival, we have spent a lot of time together. I acted as his tour guide to show him all the best restaurants and places to go in Swansea.
"I know what it's like to come to a foreign country, so I wanted to help him settle in, which is important."
Ayew and Gomis have certainly hit the ground running this season, with the latter undergoing a summer detox at a luxury Italian health spa in preparation for the campaign.
He visited the Henri Chenot treatment centre in the town of Merano in June and underwent treatments for detoxification, regeneration and weight loss ahead of a gruelling pre-season schedule.
"I go there every year to prepare for the season ahead," explains Gomis. "It's a great place to lose weight, have massages and detoxify the body. It helps me a lot.
"Karim Benzema and Zinedine Zidane were there too, but lots of players go there to prepare for the next season, such as players like Francesco Totti."
When he's not offering his assistance as a tour guide, visiting treatment centres or scoring goals, Gomis takes a keen interest in fashion and admits a love for the "elegant" way the British dress.
For those supporters following the forward on social media platforms Twitter and Instagram, they will know the French international is no stranger to a designer suit and pocket square.
"My father always taught me to present myself well," Gomis explains. "When he went to church on a Sunday, he would always look his best.
"He told me that it is important to portray yourself well, which is what I try to do whenever I get the chance."
Gomis also uses social media to interact with supporters on a regular basis and has become a popular figure amongst the Jack Army.
"I feel that it's important to communicate with fans about the game," he adds. "They have been great with me ever since I moved to Swansea.
"When I am out in the city, they encourage me and give me a slap on the back.
"As a striker, it's important to have that support from the fans because when you are tired during a game, they drive you on and give you confidence."
In an effort to give something back to supporters, Gomis has even turned his hand to teaching in local schools to help youngsters with their French.
The former Saint-Etienne and Lyon striker received a massive 'merci beaucoup' from pupils at Ffynone House School and Gowerton School after he visited the local classrooms on the invitation of his English teacher Francoise Robert.
"Before I became a footballer, I thought about a career in teaching," reveals Gomis.
"When I helped teach children French in Swansea, it gave me the chance to play out that role.
"I visited two schools in Swansea with my English teacher, and I received a great welcome.
"It was a good chance for me to practice my English and also to help them with their French.
"It was a nice experience. They encouraged me and told me that they wanted me to score more goals!"
Bafe on his "panther" celebration
"I have celebrated like this ever since my time at Saint-Etienne because the panther is the emblem of the club," reveals Gomis.
"When I was younger, the club had a Brazilian player called Alex, and he celebrated by doing the panther too.
"When I was watching in the stands, I thought that when I one day score goals like he did, that will be my celebration.
"It's also in homage to the African player Salif Keita, who was a great player for Saint-Etienne, who scored a lot of goals for the club."