Atlas’ defender Jesus Alejandro Gomez will join Portuguese side Boavista. The 18 year old defender will be on a one year loan with the option to be bought. Gomez becomes the second player from the U17 Mexican National team that finished in second place in the 2019 U17 World Cup to make the jump to Europe. Eugenio Pizzuto was the first as he moved to Lille, a team also owned by Boavista’s owner Gerard Lopez. Along with Gerardo Arteaga moving to Belgian side Genk, these are the three Mexican players transferring to European football so far this 2020 Summer window.
Jesus Alejandro Gomez came through the youth system of Atlas. The Hermosillo, Sonora native was one of the brightest prospects on defense and going into the 2019 U17 World Cup, he was one of the most experienced players in the squad as he had debuted with the Atlas first team in Copa MX and even scored. In the tournament, he was a defensive stalwart as Mexico surprised most fans with getting into the final and barely losing to hosts Brazil. Gomez scored two goals against the Solomon Islands and also scored in the semifinals’ penalty shootout win against the Netherlands. Gomez returned to Mexico and had more playing time with Atlas. In the preseason Copa GNP por Mexico, Gomez had two goals, becoming the leading scorer of Atlas in the tournament. Gomez had become one of the top prospects in Mexican football, and will now join the captain of the U17 Mexican NT (Pizzuto) in going to Europe for a Gerard Lopez team.
Gomez’ move to Europe might be key to the future of Mexican football. Unlike other positions, Mexico’s defense is a worrisome. While Nestor Araujo has done a solid job at Celta Vigo, many of the rest of Mexico’s defense don’t have such bright prospects. The most notable case is Carlos Salcedo, who went from a defender shining with Eintracht Frankfurt to a guy struggling at Tigres after a very ill-advised return to Mexico. Cesar Montes has been a prospect for many years but has yet to make the move to Europe from Monterrey, and after another summer filled with rumors it looks like he will continue to stay in Mexico. Thus Gomez move to Europe is key. With Victor Guzman, the other central defender from the U17 Mexican NT, becoming a starter with Xolos it looks like the future defense has risen to bring back hope and Gomez should be stepping up for a future place in the senior Mexican National team.