Manchester United did not want to let Angel Gomes go this past summer. But the club could not do enough to convince him to quit.
With just 19 minutes of Premier League football to his name in 2019/20, his decision to leave was understandable from a career progression standpoint.
Gomes signed with Lille, before heading out on loan to Boavista.
He has made a big impact in Portugal so far, providing two assists on his debut and scoring another goal from long range.
His performance against Benfica on Monday night may have been his best yet.
Gomes led Boavista to a 3-0 victory over Benfica. It was a stunning win in context.
Benfica entered the night second in the table, looking to go top. The Portuguese giants finished second in the league last season and are in the Champions League group stages.
Gomes’ Boavista had been winless heading into the game after five matches, having drawn three and lost two.
Gomes took over
Gomes inspired the 3-0 win with a dazzling 71 minutes before being withdrawn.
He scored a first half penalty and caused problems with two successful dribbles, while being fouled twice. He added the the scoreline by providing an assist.
His performance drew praise on social media, including from AC Milan player Rafael Leao.
United have themselves to blame
Gomes is a spectacular talent who grew impatient with waiting in the wings at United.
Having failed to break into the team ahead of Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira, he was understandably fed up.
What is frustrating is that Gomes had higher potential than both players and United balanced his minutes so poorly last season.
Gomes did not need to sign for Lille to head on loan to Boavista. He could have signed a new contract at United and then gone out on loan.
But the 20-year-old clearly has a plan, and could be lighting it up in France by the end of 2021/22.
And at that point, top clubs will be clamouring after his signature. United could well be one of them.
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