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Preston must now challenge Blackburn and Rangers in race to sign Carlos Mendes Gomes

Many Preston fans will know the story of how the club missed out on Jamie Vardy.

To cut a long story short, Phil Brown wanted to sign Vardy from non-league side Halifax Town, the club wouldn’t pay the fee required, and Vardy went onto become a goalscoring sensation in the Premier League.

Since then, North End have generally done well when it comes to picking up talent from lower leagues, and Tom Barkhuizen is a great example.

Once of Blackpool, few really knew about Barkhuizen when he left Morecambe for Preston in the 2016-17 season, but he has gone on to become a key player at Deepdale.

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There is now another exciting talent emerging at Morecambe, and Preston may be left kicking themselves if they miss out – just as they did with Vardy.

Carlos Mendes Gomes isn’t a big name at this point in his career, but he is now attracting major interest; The Mirror (11/04, p67) claim that Rangers and Blackburn Rovers both want to sign him.

The 22-year-old has had a bizarre career to this point; he was born in Senegal, started out with Atletico Madrid, found himself in Manchester with non-league West Didsbury and Chortlon before heading to Morecambe.

Out of contract this summer, the Spaniard looks set to leave Morecambe, and Preston need to be in the race for his signature in search of another Barkhuizen.

Mendes Gomes has predominantly played on the flanks, but has still smashed 12 goals in League Two this season, starring in a promotion-chasing side.

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His tally of one assist may not look great, but he records 1.2 key passes per 90 minutes played, and has shown vision as well as the ability to play incisive passes behind defences.

Mendes Gomes is wiry and skilful, often showing flair and imagination to beat players with pace or trickery – attributes North End lack.

With Billy Bodin and Anthony Gordon set to go at the end of the season, Preston need to find at least one more winger. Mendes Gomes is starring this season just about 28 miles away, meaning he must be on North End’s radar.

Beating Rangers and Rovers won’t be easy, but Mendes Gomes is the kind of raw yet exciting talent that Preston should be looking at to kickstart a new era this summer.

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