The incredible reason Joao Gomes insisted on signing for Wolves rather than Lyon

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Wolves have finally announced the signing of Joao Gomes - here’s why he chose Wanderers over a move to Lyon.

Wolverhampton Wanderers have finally announced the signing of Joao Gomes from Flamengo, bringing a lengthy transfer saga to an end. The Brazilian, who arrives at Molineux for a fee in the region of £15 million, becomes Julen Lopetegui’s sixth signing as the head coach continues to make his mark.

The deal had actually been agreed upon weeks ago, as the 21-year-old midfielder looked set to join with relative ease, but a late hijack attempt from Lyon nearly scuppered things. The Ligue 1 outfit suddenly sent off a last-ditch bid of around £1 million more than what Wolves had offered, and Flamengo were unwilling to let their wonderkid go.

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Gomes had already accepted personal terms with Wanderers at this stage, though, and was adamant he wanted to make the switch to England rather than France. Wolves’ sporting director, Matt Hobbs, has now revealed why this was the case. “It’s the club, the way it’s sold to him,” Hobbs told Wolves.co.uk.

“It’s the manager, it’s how he talks to them when he speaks to them and it’s the project and the Premier League,” Hobbs continued. “With who we are, it’s never going to be money, we’ll never sign players based on money, offering a better deal than somewhere else. We want players who want to come to us for who we are as a club and a city.

“I think the fans want players who represent them and their football club. He’s so happy, smiling, grateful, whilst at the same time, just wants to get going. All the other bits are over now, and he wants it to be about football,” Hobbs said.

Wolves have announced the signing of Joao Gomes from Flamengo.Wolves have announced the signing of Joao Gomes from Flamengo.
Wolves have announced the signing of Joao Gomes from Flamengo.

Wanted previously by the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool, Gomes arrives at Wolves will plenty of physicality and energy. Able to play as a six or as an eight, he is fairly versatile, too. It may take a little while for him to be integrated into the starting XI, but he has a very high ceiling.

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“We have to allow him time to settle, adapt and get his match fitness and speed up,” Hobbs continued. “For us, this is a long-term signing, someone we’re really excited about for the next few years and has all the ability to be a Brazilian national team player.

“What’s been great was that it wasn’t a player Julen was aware of himself before coming here. When we were talking about other players, we put him in as a player we liked, so he went away to watch his games and loved him, so has pushed from that minute.

“He’s been key in driving it, it was a player he wanted to bring in, and when he speaks to them, he’s phenomenal. The way he talks, with passion, the passion he’s already got for the football club. This is a guy who has worked at some of the biggest clubs in the world, but the way he talks about our club, it makes you want to sign on the same call.”

Joao Gomes chose Wolves because of the club’s appeal, not anything to do with finances.Joao Gomes chose Wolves because of the club’s appeal, not anything to do with finances.
Joao Gomes chose Wolves because of the club’s appeal, not anything to do with finances.

After making his debut in November 2020, aged 19, Gomes played 119 times for Flamengo across all competitions. He featured in 42 matches as a central midfielder, 35 as a defensive anchor, five as a left winger, and two in a more advanced position. In that period, Gomes scored four goals and contributed three assists.

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