CLAUDIO Gomes says playing against Barnsley in a pre-season friendly in July and the Reds’ achievements last season encouraged him to move to Oakwell on a season-long loan from Manchester City.
The 21-year-old Frenchman joined City from Paris St German in 2018 and spent the 2019/20 season at Dutch giants PSV where he played for their second team. He then helped City’s reserves win the Premier League 2 title while Barnsley were reaching the Championship play-offs.
The France youth international has never started for City but came off the bench in the Community Shield and League Cup in 2018 then the FA Cup at Swansea in February this year.
Gomes – a defensive midfielder – played against Barnsley in a pre-season friendly on July 31 which City won 4-0.
He told Chronicle: “It was a good game. They tried to keep the ball and play. If they finished in the play-offs last season, that means the team is good. I am happy to join that group of people and players.
“When I heard of the interest, I was ready to join this team.
“It is a good time to play for this club, I played against them and saw their football and it’s a good environment for me.”
Gomes will compete with fellow young midfielders Josh Benson, Callum Styles and Romal Palmer for a place in the team.
“In training, we have had good sessions. The midfielders are good players and, if we play together, we are going to be strong as a midfield. We will keep learning in training and games.”
Gomes is looking forward to making his league debut and, hopefully, getting regular football.
“It’s good to play every week. But first I have to show the coach I am ready for that. Just because I have signed, I will not have my place in the first 11 every week. I have to work hard for it.
“The Championship is a good level to improve myself. I want to become a man and be serious every day. I was serious before but now even more.
“It will be a long season and I hope a good season. But I am just thinking about game to game.”
Gomes has trained with City’s first team including against players like Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.
“It was a good experience to see how they train, and how they prepare for big games. But I am focused on me and I will work hard to reach that level and play for Man City. But first of all I will focus on Barnsley.
“I am a Barnsley player, not a Man City player at this time. I am with the guys and with the team. I will try to help the guys.
“I am proud to be a Man City player and a PSG player before. You have to be ready every time at those clubs and be the best in every training season and game. But I will bring the same to Barnsley.
“I am excited to be here. It’s unlucky the first game is away and I have to wait to be at home in front of the fans.”
Asked to describe himself as a player, Gomes said: “I like to play football, short passes, defending. I know the fans love some tackles. You have to be aggressive and regain the ball.”