Forest Green Rovers have completed the signing of 18-year-old Toni Gomes from Liverpool on a season long loan.
The pacey forward is a Portugal youth international and has appeared regularly for Liverpool in the U17, U18 and U23 sides since signing in 2015, as well as making his debut for the first team in a friendly against Mainz at the beginning of last season.
Toni Gomes said: “I’m so happy to be here. I’m enjoying it now in this moment and I’m looking forwards to making my debut – I can’t wait.
“I really enjoyed my first training session today – they play very good football, I’ve watched YouTube highlights and they love to play and to have the ball and that’s good for me. I want to keep playing, keep learning, like I’ve been doing in the Academy at Liverpool.”
Manager Mark Cooper said: “He’ll bring pace, power, creativity and can score goals, so I’m looking forwards to working with him. Adding him and Randall this week gives us more options in the attacking area which is something that we’ve been looking for, in terms of trying to play on the front foot in the last third of the pitch.
“I’m pleased with the work we’ve done in this window – it’s a difficult market and we’ve had to go for some loans but I’m pleased with the quality we’ve got in.”
He ended last season with a perfect hat-trick for the U23s against Mansfield and has developed alongside the likes of Trent Alexander Arnold, Ovie Ejaria and Ben Woodburn in a strong Liverpool Academy setup.
Gomes was born in Guinea-Bissau in West Africa, before travelling to Lisbon to join his father. He only stayed in Portugal for six months though, as Liverpool were tipped off about his potential by an agent and invited him over for a trial in September 2014 when he earned a deal with the Merseyside club.
Last year Gomes was highlighted by the German newspaper Sport Bild as ‘Jürgen Klopp’s most precious jewel’ in their Scout section, which looks at Europe’s top talents.