Angel Gomes, Man United’s next big thing or a hype-job

Andrew Irvine

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Angel Gomes playing for Man United u18s vs Blackburn u18s by Kane Brooker (Flickr)
Angel Gomes playing for Man United under 18’s vs Blackburn under 18’s by Kane Brooker (Flickr)

Angel Gomes has quickly become the prime candidate to be Manchester United’s next superstar to come from their academy. United’s seventeen year-old wonder kid has burst into prominence over the past eighteen months by breaking records and building a reputation for himself as being one of the top young prospects in the world. Gomes has used his short window at Manchester United and England to create a lot of excitement about his future. In this piece, the Circular gives a background on Gomes and dissects just how good he can be.

Born in London, Gomes is the son of former Portugal under-21 international Gil Gomes. He later moved to Greater Manchester, when his father joined Salford City .Gomes joined the Manchester United’s academy at the age of six, and signed a contract at age 13. He first played for the under 17’s on trial during a tournament in October 2013, before signing for the club in May 2014. Gomes was consistently a substitute for the under 18’s and made his first appearance on the final day of the season aged 14.

The 2016-2017 under 18’s season was truly the launching point for Gomes as a top Man United prospect. Gomes managed to grab 12 goals and 6 assists in just 19 games, which helped propel him into bigger and better things. One of those being, he became the youngest-ever recipient of the Jimmy Murphy Player of the Year award in May, given to the top youth player at Manchester United.

 

This also led to Gomes making his first-team debut in the final game of the season , replacing captain Wayne Rooney in a 2–0 victory at home to Crystal Palace. At 16 years and 263 days old, he became the youngest first team Manchester United player since Duncan Edwards in 1953, as well as the first player born in the 2000’s to play in the Premier League. This was also an example of the passing of the guard, because it ended up being United legend Wayne Rooney’s final game at the club. Gomes has followed that season up with an excellent start to the 2017/2018 season, earning 5 goals and an assist in 6 games. Gomes was also a part of England’s  2017 under 17’s world cup winning team, scoring a superb free kick in England’s 4-0 win over Chile.

 

Gomes’ preferred position is as an attacking midfielder, where he uses his creativity, composure and dribbling to control the flow of his teams attack. Gomes is still very small, last listed at 5’5, but he sees in a unique way and is a step ahead of the opposition. Gomes’ early goal scoring and assist statistics beckons well for his future in the first team and his lack of physical stature has yet to prove to be a major hindrance to his play.

It goes without saying that Gomes has a unique amount of talent and skill for his age. The question remains, however, just how high is Gomes’ ceiling. Can Gomes follow in the footsteps of United’s legendary class of 92 that contained greats such as Giggs, Scholes and Beckham. Or will Gomes follow the path of fellow england starlet Marcus Rashford and rocket into the first team. It remains to be seen just how good Gomes can be, but it is safe to say that the youngster is by no means a hype job.

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Andrew Irvine