Manchester United have a rich history of bringing exciting youngsters into the first-team. There is a huge list of players who burst onto the scene at Old Trafford as teenagers, with the hype often beginning long before their senior inclusion.
While Marcus Rashford flew under the radar and barely featured for the under-23s, Angel Gomes is impressing for United’s second string. And fans are desperate to see more of the diminutive attacker in the senior side.
Gomes became the first player born in this millennium to feature in the Premier League when he came off the bench in May 2017. But he has only managed one more appearance since then – a two-minute outing against Yeovil in the FA Cup.
Gomes signed a new contract at United last year, but he cannot afford to stagnate. His performances for the under-23s this season suggest he could soon outgrow that level and Jose Mourinho has a decision to make.
Either Gomes is integrated into United’s first-team or a January loan move should be considered. The latter is a risk, but the attacking midfielder is ready either way.
At 18, Luke Shaw was impressing for Southampton, while Rashford quickly proved his worth. Recent England debutant Jadon Sancho is the same age as Gomes and impressing for Borussia Dortmund.
In short, Gomes should be tested either at Old Trafford or in a temporary spell elsewhere. He is ready for a place on the bench at United, where he can slowly settle into the team.
United’s history is clear. They take pride in youth and benefit as a consequence. Now it is Gomes’s time to prove his worth and Mourinho needs to get it right.