Angel Gomes is on the brink of the Manchester United first team.
Getting into it as a regular, is another matter.
Gomes played in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first home game in charge against Huddersfield, coming off the bench.
Despite being a regular in the squad since, he has not featured at all.
United’s challenge is to work out how to change this. The big issue is whether they feel they can afford to select him.
United’s fixture list is intense over the final two months of the season. The team is in a real scrap for a top four spot. The Champions League quarter-finals add to the pressure.
On the other hand, United’s squad is stretched with injuries. It might be the case that United do more harm by not playing Gomes, than constantly pushing their top stars. Let a new star begin to emerge.
The home game against West Ham in between the two Barcelona fixtures might be ideal to rotate Gomes in.
The competition for places in midfield is intense, but Gomes can play in a variety of positions. United may already be missing a trick not using him while Jesse Lingard is injured.
It’s great that he’s been part of the squad in recent weeks, forming bonds and picking up experience, but he needs to play too.
Gomes is only 18. He will get chances in pre-season if competitive opportunities don’t arise this campaign.
Next season though it will get tougher, with United expected to bring in new players in the transfer market.
It’s better for Gomes if he can make an impression before the end of the season. Likewise it also makes sense for United to take a closer look at him.
It was clearly Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s intent to bring the young talent through. The intensity of the battle to win a top four spot puts that philosophy at risk.
If Solskjaer is brave enough, Gomes might just repay his faith.