Angel Gomes ran the show for England’s under-20 side on Thursday afternoon as he created three goals to make his return from injury in a 4-0 win over Portugal.

The Manchester United youngster’s future has been in doubt with less than a year remaining on his contract at the club. Injury has kept him out of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s recent plans but Gomes excelled in an England shirt.

Angel Gomes provides two assists and wins a penalty

The 19-year-old provided two assists and won a penalty to help Keith Downing’s side to an impressive 4-0 victory over Portugal. His second assist was to Emile Smith-Rowe, the Arsenal youngster who was also part of England’s U17 World Cup-winning squad that Gomes captained.

While Gomes has only played seven times for United, Smith-Rowe has got experience on loan at RB Leipzig and is now playing semi-regularly for Arsenal. Solskjaer has put his recent absence in the team down to injury.

Claims that Gomes is out of favour because of contractual disputes are unlikely to be true.

PARMA, ITALY - OCTOBER 10: Salvatore Esposito of Italy U20  competes for the ball with  Angel Gomes of England U20 during the 8 Nations Tournament match between Italy U20 and England U20 at Stadio Ennio Tardini on October 10, 2019 in Parma, Italy.
(Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

Chances have been rare at United

It’s unfortunate, as poor performances from Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard meant Gomes could have been in with a shout for some first team action. The 19-year-old has provided a clear reminder of his talent in an England shirt.

United must be patient with him. Given the success of ex-teammates like Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden and Callum Hudson-Odoi, hesitation from Gomes would be understandable. United have to convince him that his future is at Old Trafford.


At 5ft 2in, his stature makes it hard for him to break into the United starting line-up. The Salford kid’s height and frame have always been notable. It’s why, although he was England’s captain en route to U17 World Cup glory, he has progressed slower than some of his teammates.

Angel Gomes contract situation is worrying

His on-the-ball talent is immense. His ability to keep the ball under tight control in small areas is better than most in United’s squad. The variety and timing of his passing is excellent and he’s been a prolific goalscorer in youth teams.

His opportunities have been so limited, with only two of his seven appearances being starts.

His contract situation at United is a worry and a resolution has to be found soon. In the meantime, United and Gomes’ best move is to find some more chances in the starting line-up.

Two games in the UEFA Europa League, away to Astana and at home to AZ Alkmaar, are unmissable opportunities to fulfil that aim. Three assists against Portugal is one hell of a message for Gomes to send back to his club.

Have something to tell us about this article?