Angel Gomes has been developing at an unbelievable rate at Manchester United, with senior academy figures earmarking him as one of the best youth prospects to have ever played for the club.
There are innumerable exciting facets to football as far as fans are concerned. Although, one of the most prized and gratifying aspects of the beautiful game for supporters is to wax lyrical about that one rusty yet incredibly prodigious diamond their clubs have in the academy. Manchester United have a history of developing youngsters and seamlessly integrating them into the first-team fold.
Although there’ve been some terrific players to come out of that famed United academy, the ones which immediately come to mind are the ‘Class of 92’. Albeit in the years gone by, there has been a paucity of top class talent coming through United’s conveyor belt due to various reasons. The academy and scouting network were two departments which had been completely neglected by Sir Alex Ferguson in the latter years of his reign at Old Trafford. David Moyes and Louis van Gaal didn’t improve the situation significantly, even though the latter gave a bunch of debuts.
U18s: Angel Gomes hit his tenth league goal of the season on Saturday against Everton.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 25, 2017
The recent revamp of the academy has resulted in United signing some top-class talent from all-across the globe like Tahith Chong, Indy Boonen and DJ Buffonge.
Although the aforementioned players are superb prospects in their own right, the one name that you really need to remember is that of Angel Gomes.
Born on August 21 2000, Gomes joined United aged 13 and has been the youngest player in every age group he’s represented – he made his debut for the clubs U18’s team aged 14 (which is absolutely incredible). Although only 16, Gomes has become an integral part of the clubs U18’s setup and has also captained the England U16’s and U17’s sides.
The youngster possesses some dazzling dribbling skills, superb close control and an amazing passing artillery. Not only this, he also pops up with a chunk of goals which is an extremely important trait for the modern midfielder. Due to his short frame, Gomes is often at the receiving end of a load of tackles from oppositions defences but his incredible mental strength enables him to simply brush them off and get on with the game.
Stats after yesterday’s u18 game
Angel Gomes 15 starts 1 sub appearance 9 goals & 7 assists
Tahith Chong 12 starts 2 sub 4 goals 9 assists
— jb8521 (@jb_8521) December 18, 2016
At the moment, Gomes plays in an attacking midfield position for United’s U18’s and many say that his future almost definitely lies in the number 10 spot. Having watched him extensively this season, I disagree.
As mentioned earlier, the England international has a pretty short frame and consequently, a low centre of gravity. He uses this physical attribute of his to perfection by using it to dictate the tempo of the game, running into channels and finding pockets of space, thereby shuttling his way from midfield to attack brilliantly – much like his idol Andres Iniesta. A freer box-to-box role in the centre of the park (much like Iniesta and David Silva) wherein Gomes is given the freedom to carry the ball and control the pace of the game is something which will completely exploit the phenomenal he has.
“We’ve got some unbelievable players. Angel Gomes is a young talented player we’ve massive hopes for.”
One of the most important developments in Gomes’ style of play over the past 12 months has been his awareness and ability to execute the outstanding technical abilities he possesses during games. Whilst being deployed as a wide man-cum-attacking midfielder, the way he darts infield with a sudden and effective change of pace, has his head up looking for a teammate to make a run and delivers the perfect pass for an attacker is simply incredible given how young he is.
Additionally, Gomes is only the third player to have ever bagged a hat-trick for United’s academy against Everton which highlights his knack of finding the back of the net. His meteoric rise and incredible development has made him the subject of immense interest from other clubs, notably Barcelona, who were heavily linked with him some time back. However, United are determined to keep hold of their prized asset.
— Manchester United (@ManUtdUpdates_) November 11, 2016
It is safe to say that Gomes definitely has the technical attributes to play for the first team but given the fact that he’s only 16, he’s too weak physically. It still feels like his debut for the first-team is at least two seasons away but given the kind of development he’s been showing, it’s almost certain that this guy has the potential to be the best in the business.
If Gomes plays his cards right and reaches his potential at Old Trafford, he could bag himself a smoking hot WAG like Manchester United’s current stars!