Mendes Gomes hoping to become a fans' favourite at Kenilworth Road
Winger wants to bag goals and assists during his time with Luton
Summer signing Carlos Mendes Gomes is hoping to become a fans’ favourite among the Hatters faithful at Kenilworth Road.
The 22-year-old became Town’s seventh acquisition of the close season last month after a wonderful campaign at Morecambe where his 16 goals helped the Shrimps reach League One for the first time in their history.
He had become something of an idol at the Mazuma Stadium, with his ability to beat defenders, and is now hoping to transfer that popularity to his new home in Bedfordshire.
Speaking to the press recently, Mendes Gomes said: “I think that’s the way I enjoy my football, I consider myself a skillful player and people seem to like that.
“I don’t know if it’s my smile, I’m quite likeable sometimes, so it’s always nice.
“I spent three years at Morecambe, I made some really good friends, I’m quite lucky that they actually like me and I tried to do my best for the club, every time I step on the pitch.
“It was a bit sad I’m leaving a club I spent three years at, and I wish them all the best, hopefully things go well for me at Luton Town.
“The boys have all been top class with me.
“They all welcomed me in the right way and I think that shows how the club is in general.
“It is a family club, not only just the players but the supporters as well.
“The love that I have received since my signing has been announced has been incredible and I can’t wait to get going.”
The goal that cemented Mendes Gomes’ popularity with the Morecambe fans just so happened to be his last too.
Stepping up to the penalty spot at Wembley with the scores goalless and just 13 minutes of the play-off final against Newport County remaining, he held his nerve to seal a 1-0 victory.
On coming through such a pressure situation, the attacker continued: “The day before the final we trained and I spoke to the gaffer (Derek Adams) and I said to him that if there was a penalty that I would like to take it.
“He made me take 10 pens and I scored all of them so I went to the game thinking that if I got a pen I would just try to replicate what I did in training and not think about the occasion.”
Prior to last term, it had taken Mendes Gomes a while to get going in a Morecambe shirt, as after signing from tenth tier side West Didsbury & Chorlton in 2018, he scored just twice in his first two seasons.
The former Atletico Madrid youngster had only managed a further two before December last term, but a return of five goals that month and 14 in 35 appearances made the Senegalese winger one of the hottest properties in the fourth tier.
He knew that if he wanted to achieve his dream of making it in the upper echelons of English football, he had needed to up his attacking output, saying: “If you ask me I will say yes but it is about learning as well.
"I came a long way, I was playing college football and North West Counties with West Didsbury.
“Playing in League Two is obviously a big change, I had to understand the game and I had to always work hard.
“I had to listen to the managers that I had and last year, getting the game time that I got helped me a lot to achieve the promotion at the end and the goals I scored.
“As an attacking player you have to know that it is not going to be easy, sometimes you are going to be high, other times you will be low.
“It is about knowing how to overcome them and believe in yourself.
"It came to December and I knew that if I wanted to actually affect the game and help my team-mates, I had to add goals into my game and thankfully it went well."
It is an area of his game that Mendes Gomes is now determined to bring with him to Kenilworth Road, saying: "One hundred per cent, it doesn’t matter who scores and who assists, as long as you can help the team.
"As an attacking player, it always feels great to get your stats up and to help your team you need to score and assist so that is what I will be looking to do.
"As long as I’m on the pitch, I try to always do my best and I don’t really have a favourite position."
Meanwhile, the former Shrimps player is also looking for his first experience of Kenilworth Road, adding: "I've never had the pleasure to play here and I've heard good things about the stadium, especially when it is a full house.
"I've heard it’s a bouncing place so I cannot wait to feel that!"