How will Solskjaer's 'take it or leave it' stance play out over Angel Gomes tonight?
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer laid out the Angel Gomes situation in a very matter of fact way in his pre-match press conference.
Yet his decision tonight over the young attacker is anything but clear.
To recap, Solskjaer told the club website that United have made a new contract offer to Gomes, and hope he will sign it.
But he also hinted at a ruthless side, showing that if Gomes ultimately wants to move on, then United will too.
Solskjaer said: “Angel is a top, top kid who we have had at the club for so may years.
“We’ve offered him a deal, hopefully he takes it. If not, I wish him all the best. Hopefully, from what I understand, it’s not too far away, so if not we wish him all the best.”
Will Gomes make the 20-man squad?
Solskjaer has included Gomes in every first team training session since the restart, and now he has very publicly shown once again that he wants Gomes to stay.
The big question is whether Solskjaer will back it up by including Gomes in the 20-man squad to face Spurs this evening.
Earlier this week we had a go at predicting the squad, and Gomes was not amongst our selected substitutes. It is very competitive, and he may need to wait for injuries to work his way up.
At the same time, this won’t exactly convince him to want to re-sign, if he cannot even make a nine-man substitutes bench.
Solskjaer may feel he has backed himself into a corner a little, and should include Gomes, with one eye on persuading him to renew his contract.
It may feel self-defeating to urge him to sign, and then leave him out of the squad 24 hours later.
Yet Solskjaer has shown this season that he won’t be swayed by that, and hasn’t given Gomes many first team opportunities. He has just 19 minutes of Premier League action, which is embarrassing really considering Jesse Lingard has racked up more than 1,300 minutes, and Andreas Pereira even more.
The way Solskjaer spoke, with his matter of fact tone, made it sound as though Gomes will have to earn his way in and be prepared to do it. Take it, or leave it.
It is worth remembering though how the 19-year-old danced through the Tottenham defence to score a pre-season winner last July.
He came off the bench then, and it is possible that almost a year on, Solskjaer gets bold and asks him to try and repeat his moment of magic in a game which counts.
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