Spending the vast majority of 2017 in a contract renewal stand off with Paris Saint-Germain, the club he’d been at since 2013, Claudio Gomes decided to try something new and head to Manchester City.
The 18-year-old diminutive defensive midfielder was immediately handed his debut by Pep Guardiola, coming on for a whole second at the end of the Community Shield win over Chelsea, who played a big part in his decision to sign for the Cityzens.
Sitting down with Onze Mondial in France, the youngster opened up about his whole life so far, including his decision to leave Paris Saint-Germain, which he puts down to wanting a new challenge, tempted by what Manchester City had to offer.
Bumping into Vincent Kompany when he was visiting the Premier League side’s infrastructures, Gomes revealed the club’s captain told him: “Here you’ve got everything to learn, everything to win, it’s a great club with great ambitions and a great coach”.
After that, a phone call from Mikel Arteta sealed the deal.
He said: “He managed to convince me. He said he was impatiently waiting for me. When someone like Arteta calls you, it makes a difference. He’s a guy who knew the top level. He had the words to convince me, and today, I don’t regret my choice”.
Pushed to one side by Paris Saint-Germain when he told them of his decision to run down his contract, Gomes described finally putting pen to paper with his new club as a ‘relief’.
He explained: “In your head, you tell yourself it’s over, I’m starting something again, without forgetting the past, of course. Basically, I just turned the page. At that time, I was happy to join City, but also sad to leave my brothers behind. I spent five years with them, and one day you just have to leave”.
Since then, Gomes feels his adaptation to the new club has ‘gone well’, helped by 17-year-old defender Eric Garcia.
As for Guardiola, the defensive midfielder couldn’t be happier with him.
He said: “The manager is someone who wants to get the best out of every player, and he’s the best in the world. He’s always behind his players, he pushes them to do more, to express themselves fully. For a club with such ambitions, having a manager like him shows there’s everything to succeed.
“Really, everything. He works so much, so much, so much. And when you see your manager work that much, in your head, you tell yourself you have to too. That’s how it is.”