Angel Gomes has not signed a professional contract – no need to panic yet!

Angel Gomes is a player who many Manchester United supporters have followed for years now, waiting for his chance in the first team, despite not actually playing regularly for the U23’s, which was the road Marcus Rashford took into the first team, but for different reasons – injuries to first team players. Gomes is a talent, possibly ahead of his time and he may not be getting much out of playing for the U18’s as he is clearly head and shoulders above that level of the game. Playing for the U19’s in the UEFA Youth League will be something that gives him experience, playing teams on the continent, which will help him when his first team chance actually comes.

Gomes played a cameo role in the final Premier League match of last season, a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace with the then 16-year-old replacing Wayne Rooney, who made his bow out at Old Trafford, in the last few minutes of the match. Gomes did not really get himself involved in the match, he was out of time almost as soon as he came on, but it was a taste for the things to come if his development and progress continue to head in the right direction. Gomes turned 17 on the 31st August 2017, the day he was eligible to sign his first professional contract with the Old Trafford outfit, something which has not materialised three weeks after his birthday. Some supporters are worrying based on rumours that Barcelona are reportedly after the player.

Gomes signed a Scholarship with United and has a year left on that, meaning that he is not eligible to be pursued by other clubs and cannot sign for another club until the expiry of that contract. If or when Gomes signs a professional contract with United, it will only be for three years, the maximum period of time a 17-year-old can commit to a club, then on the players 18th birthday, he will be able to sign for a period of five years, which would probably be the option United take if Gomes remains at the club and wants to remain there for the foreseeable future. Wayne Rooney, a player Gomes looks up to, signed his first professional contract with Everton around three months after his 17th birthday, which would have been something the club worried about.

Gomes could do something similar. As the player is as good as he is in the U18’s, looking to continue his development, bettering himself, the prospect of him in a few years time will always get other clubs looking at the player, especially the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona, who must have the best talent out there, even if they have to take it from elsewhere. Gomes seems quite grounded and will do things for the right reasons, which is the best way to be. I don’t think he is a player motivated by money, which is a breath of fresh air in the current state of the game with players who have not even made the grade for first team football thinking they are the best thing since sliced bread despite not actually achieving anything yet.

United would be left in a bad position if they do not keep Gomes, who has been at the club for eight years. It could be a Paul Pogba-like error which would be costly, but it is media speculation driving that suggestion, not the player, not his parents, his agent or any of his teammates. United do not seem to be in a panic about what is happening, which is a good sign. The player is United’s for the entirety of this season and during that time I expect them to offer Gomes his first professional contract, keeping him at the club for three more years and in a year’s time, a five year contract could be offered to the player, who at which point could be on his rise into the first team, which is where both he and Manchester United want him to be.

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