There are plenty of Manchester City youngsters who the supporters are familiar with, particularly Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz, but there’s a new kid on the block this summer who is gunning for a place in Pep Guardiola’s first-team plans.
Introducing: Claudio Gomes, a recent recruit who arrived at the Etihad Stadium from Paris Saint-Germain this summer on a free transfer.
The 18-year-old has played for French youth teams throughout his development as a defensive midfielder, and murmurs from across the channel suggest that City could have pulled a masterstroke by bringing the youngster to Manchester.
Gomes has jumped straight in at the deep end by training with the first-team squad ahead of the new season, but Guardiola’s comments in the British media suggest that he is swimming at a comfortable depth alongside some of the most talented players in world football.
After watching him train in the USA with the rest of the club’s first team, Guardiola admitted that Gomes had been “so good, so good”, before suggesting that the new recruit could end up staying with the first-team next season as both Diaz and Foden did during the previous campaign.
And considering City have failed in their bid to sign Jorginho and appear without a recognisable plan b option – in the transfer market at least – Gomes could emerge as one of the surprise packages of the upcoming Premier League season.
Whether he possesses the quality to step up the Premier League during his debut campaign with the club remains to be seen, but with Phil Foden facing intense competition from the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Bernardo Silva, David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne, there’s every chance that Gomes could feature more regularly than the Stockport-born prodigy next season.
Stepping into Fernandinho’s shoes to play in City’s physically and technically demanding anchor-role is probably a step too far for Gomes at this moment in time, but after a few months training with the senior squad it would be no surprise to see him line-up alongside a contingent of superstars in Guardiola’s starting eleven.
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