It’s no secret that League Two is one of the most fiercely-contested divisions in the English Football League. The 46-game season pushes teams to their limit, and it’s no different for the Shrimps. While consistency is central to success, it’s equally as important to have a talisman. In Carlos Mendes Gomes, Derek Adams, the club’s manager, has a reliable offensive threat capable of single-handedly winning matches. So, let’s look at how the 22-year-old is reaching new heights at the Manzuma Stadium.
A Breath of Fresh Air at the Mazuma Stadium
There are few similarities between Madrid and Morecambe, particularly in the football world. However, there’s one thing that the Shrimps and Atletico Madrid share; they’ve both had Mendes Gomes on their books. Despite being born in Dakar, the five-foot-ten attacker’s career began in the Spanish capital with Atletico Madrid’s U19 side. In 2016, the Senegal-born player moved to West Didsbury & Chorlton before putting pen to paper on a deal with Morecambe two years later.
Having come through the Atletico youth setup, expectations were high when Mendes Gomes arrived at the Mazuma Stadium. It did, however, take time for the Senegalese attacker to find his feet. In his first 31 appearances in League Two, the Dakar-born forward only scored two goals.
In 2020-21, he’s firing the Shrimps into a promotion battle. At the time of writing, Mendes Gomes is the joint-eighth top goalscorer in League Two with 12 goals to his name. Of the 42 per cent of his shots that hit the target, 23 per cent are finding the back of the net. Moreover, the 22-year-old is averaging a goal every 250 minutes, which translates to 0.36 goals per game.
Debate Over the 22-Year-Old’s Best Position
After 37 matches of the 2020-21 campaign, Morecambe find themselves in and around the play-off places, and that’s partially down to Mendes Gomes’ contributions. As of March 31st, Adams’ team are 5/2 in football betting to finish in the top three and progress to League One for the first time in the club’s history.
Throughout the campaign, the 22-year-old has scored point-scoring goals in several games. In the opening match of the season, Mendes Gomes scored a last-minute-winner against Cheltenham Town. Moreover, he also found winning goals against Barrow, Crawley Town, Grimsby Town, and Leyton Orient.
Despite this being Mendes Gomes’ best season, discussions persist regarding his best position. According to Transfermarkt, the Dakar-born attacker has seven goal contributions when deployed as a left midfielder this season. However, he’s also played centrally and on the right-hand side of midfield when needed. From a goalscoring standpoint, Mendes Gomes is most dangerous from the left flank, although his versatility is a valuable asset in Adam’s system.
A Talented Player Finding His Feet
Every professional footballer player needs a club to take a chance on them, and that’s what Morecambe have done with Mendes Gomes. Now, the 22-year-old is blossoming and turning into a prolific, match-winning forward. He may also repay that faith by firing them into League One, which would be a historic achievement for the Shrimps.