Angel Gomes England U21 call vindicates 'difficult' decision to leave United
Former Manchester United academy star Angel Gomes has revealed the ‘difficult’ decision to leave the club came down to game time as the youngster prepares to make his Young Lions debut.
Ligue 1 Champions Lille signed Gomes on a free transfer last year after he opted against signing a new contract with United.
After a season out on loan in Portugal with Boavista, the 21-year-old has become a mainstay in Lille’s starting line-up, which has seen him make his Champions League debut and start to have a growing influence on matches.
Gomes could make his England Under-21 debut in Slovenia on Thursday alongside his good friend and United loanee James Garner, after being called up to the squad for the first time by Lee Carsley.
Gomes: ‘Leaving your home is always difficult’
The talented attacking midfielder has spoken openly about his United exit and how it made him reflect but also want to tackle the next challenge head on.
Gomes said (via Sky Sports): “I wouldn’t say I doubted myself, but there were times when you’d get upset and think back. In football there is no time for that.
“You are leaving your home and that was the most difficult thing, knowing you are not going to be there any more.
“For me it was getting it out of your head and seeing the new challenge in front and tackling that.”
It was a bold decision to leave United but Gomes had aspirations to play regular first team football and it looks like his brave move has paid off.
Gomes added: “Leaving the club you have grown up at and have been raised at is always difficult. There was a lot of pressure and a lot of negativity which came from that.
“It’s my job as a professional and a young player to be able to deal with that and continue doing what I’ve been raised to do – which is play football.
“My main focus was to show that on the pitch and leave the media and other things which come with it to the side.”
He has already made eight appearances for Lille and has been called into the England U21 squad due to his impressive form in Europe.
It was sad to see Gomes go who had become the youngest United debutant since Duncan Edwards in 1953, but it was hard to see where his pathway into the first team was going to come from.
Just like our current star Jadon Sancho, Gomes has opted to follow in the footsteps of his Under-17 World Cup winning teammate and continue his footballing education abroad.
That decision looks to be paying dividends and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Gomes back in England and possibly even at United again at some stage in his career because he is that talented.
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