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Angel Gomes: The One That Got Away?

In June of 2020, Manchester United announced the release of academy player Angel Gomes, after failing to reach an agreement over a new contract for the young player, stating ‘Angel Gomes has not taken up the offer of a new contract and has therefore left the club’. The wording of this official statement makes it seem as though the club tried everything in their power to keep the midfielder Old Trafford. 

However, when Sky Sports reported on the release, they stated that ‘the numbers just didn’t add up for the 19 year old and his advisors’, hinting that the offer on the table for Gomes was an underwhelming one, perhaps in terms of promised game time or in terms of wage, either way, Gomes rejected the offer, and his long spell at the club came to an abrupt end. 

Gomes signed for French team Lille, signing a five year contract, before being loaned to Portuguese club Boavista, as reported by The Guardian. This loan spell in Liga Nos has proven to be vital as Angel Gomes gained something he had been lacking for him at United, game time in a tough league. 

At Boavista, Gomes played 2,674 minutes across all competitions, scoring six goals and assisting a further six in that time. For a first ever full season, these are very solid numbers. Manchester Evening News stated that the Portuguese club was the ‘perfect breeding ground for success’ for Gomes due to his already speaking the language and Portuguese heritage. 

In an interview halfway through his loan spell, with The Independent, Gomes stated that ‘it’s been quite refreshing’, showing that this move, although hard, was the right one for him. 

The instant success Gomes found in Portugal, does lead to questions about whether his footballing development could have carried on at United, had he been given the opportunities. However, the main position Gomes played on loan was central attacking midfielder, where he played 18 games in total, this is an issue as this is a particularly strong position for United. 

Bruno Fernandes plays in the attacking midfield role for United, and he was signed six months before Gomes was released, in that time Fernandes had already cemented himself as a starter for Manchester United, making himself un-droppable. 

This was further proven in the 2020/21 season when Jesse Lingard had to go on loan to West Ham to gain playing time in his favoured attacking midfield position. If a then 28-year-old had to be loaned to gain playing time, there was not much hope for 19-year-old Gomes to push Fernandes off the top spot. 

This further suggests that Gomes made the correct decision by leaving, but maybe also that it was not due to a lack of talent but purely poor timing, as Gomes was reaching the age of going into the first team just as United were actively strengthening his favoured position. 

We can see similar instances in other areas of the pitch at United, more recently with Axel Tuanzebe having to go on loan this season to Aston Villa in order to get guaranteed playing time after United strengthened in the centre back position this summer with the signing of Raphael Varane

However unlucky the timing may be, it does not deter from the fact that Gomes was a highly thought of prospect at the club, as was proven when he made his debut at 16, becoming the youngest player to make their debut for the club since Duncan Edwards, as reported by Sky Sports

If he goes on to be a success at Lille and fulfil his potential, then he will always be labelled as ‘The one who go away’by United fans, but for the time being, the decision for the club and player to part ways seems to have benefitted everyone, not least the player. Seeing Academy players thrive is still a point of huge pride for United fans, even if it is at a different club, and this will be no different in the case of Gomes. 

Written by Jennifer McCord

Angel Gomes set to leave Manchester United, which might be a regret for both but Hannibal Mejbri could flourish at the club

Manchester United attacking midfielder Angel Gomes is set to leave the Old Trafford club on Tuesday on the expiry of his contract. United had previously offered him a new contract but it is not something that the player has agreed to sign, according to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Some will seen negativity here, many positivity, others will have mixed views.

Granted, Gomes has been a revelation for the club at youth level but seems to have a lot to do in order to be considered a revelation at first team level. When he has played for United this season, he’s has not really lived up to the expectations or looked like a player that would continually earn opportunities at first team level.

He should probably look at himself as the main factor as to why he has not progressed, instead of blaming anyone else. His future is in his hands after all. At U23 level, Gomes seems unplayable but at senior level, something is not quote right. The same cold be said for Tahith Chong too, who signed a contract extension with Gomes expected to follow suit.

The 19-year-old has been described as one of the brightest prospects to come out of the clubs academy in recent years, which should be something the player is proud of. However, being bright at youth level does not guarantee that you will be bright as a senior player. Speaking about Gomes leaving the club, Solskjaer said:

“I’ve not heard from them last night or this morning, it seems like they haven’t managed to agree.”

The departure of Gomes should not be something that United regret. They have been honest with the player and he obviously does not see a way for his to succeed at the club. Not every player will. However, United have ample talent in the clubs academy that could take advantage of the gap that Gomes would create at the club.

Hannibal Mejbri, 17, who was signed by the club last summer from AS Monaco has shown good form playing at U18 and U23 level already this season and has set himself a target to break into the first team within two years, so has the right mentality and will test himself on the way. With Gomes possibly out of the picture, Mejbri could take advantage of the situation.

The 17-year-old Frenchman will have to put a lot of effort into his development to make it into the clubs first team but so far seems to have the ability and mindset to do just that. He will, of course, have to challenge the likes of Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Scott McTominay and Fred, who are already in the first team.

That would not be the only battle for him though, he will have to take on current U23 players for a position in the first team with James Garner and Dylan Levitt, who are both more experienced at U23 level. However, the duo could be loaned away from the Old Trafford Lub next season, giving Mejbri more playing time at U23 level and the space to grow.

When a player leave the club, some supporters will be angry that they were never given the opportunity, when in actual fact, opportunities were given but the player seemed a long way away from the level they should have been, which is down to the player to change. Gomes will have to think about his next move carefully. Hopefully, he succeeds in his career and is a player talked about in the future.

Angel Gomes has an uncertain future at Manchester United with two weeks before contract expiry

Angel Gomes’ Manchester United future is still up in the air with just a fortnight to go before the players contract expires with the Old Trafford club. It has been suggested that the player was wanted by Chelsea, also that United have offered the player a new contract, which so far has not been accepted. The club have not offered a short-term deal either.

In his pre-match press conference ahead of the visit to North London to face Tottenham Hotspur on Friday evening, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted that he had no idea wether the 19-year-old will sign his contract offer or leave the club this summer. This is purely down to the player himself and what he decides will be on him.

Gomes has made five appearances for United this season, two in the Premier League and three in the UEFA Europa League and in all fairness, he has not exactly done enough to be a mainstay in the team. It will be much harder for him to cement a regular place with Bruno Fernandes at the club and Paul Pogba returning from injury.

It is suggested that Gomes is reluctant to sign a new contract at the club because of a lack of playing time, but all said and done, if he had done enough to earn that, he would have played more football. He’s shown a lack of readiness for the first team this season and his attitude suggests he should get more playing time, which has not been earned.

Solskjaer would like the teenager to remain at United but will not try to change his mind, should he decide to leave the club. When he has done enough to cement a place in the first team, regularly, he will be offered that. Solskjaer needs players to show they fit in, and if they do, they will stay. Speaking about Gomes, Solskjaer said:

“With Angel, he’s a top kid we’ve had at the club for so many years, we’ve offered him a deal and hopefully he’ll take that and if not I wish him all the best.

“From what I understand it’s not too far away, if not we’ll wish him all the best.”

Angel Gomes on the verge of signing a new Manchester United contract; Chelsea snubbed?

Manchester United attacking midfielder Angel Gomes is reportedly close to signing a new contract at the Old Trafford club. The 19-year-old had seemingly been close to the exit door at the Theatre of Dreams in recent weeks with Frank Lampard’s Chelsea the club that had shown a lot of interest in signing the player.

The Athletic has suggested that there is now an agreement in sight which will see the player remain a United player and he is likely to earn £25,000 per week, despite the fact he was apparently offered a £30,000 per week deal some months ago. Playing time was the major issue for Gomes, who has not really lit the world on fire when he has played for the first team.

However, at U23 level, when he has played, he has looked like a player that is too good for that level. I guess it could just be a case of the player getting his feet through to door in the first team and trusted to play a part in the team, which might be the case with five substitutions allowed for each team when the Premier League resumes next week.

This season, Gomes has played just six times for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, failing to score or assist a single goal, playing in the Premier League, the UEFA Europa League and the Carabao Cup. However, playing at U23 level, the 19-year-old has made seven appearances, scoring four goals and two assists, which shows he’s ready to be tested at the next level.

Gomes could find himself in the United squad to face Tottenham Hotspur when the Premier League returns on Friday evening and with all clubs now having more substitutions, just for the remainder of the season, he has a better chance to being involved. I don’t think he will start in this game and might not come off the bench either, if selected.

However, with nine Premier League matches to play this season plus at least one Emirates FA Cup match, more if United beat Norwich City, there are opportunities for the attacking midfielder. There is also the UEFA Europa League to complete, which might see him being involved in some respect. The best way to get more action is to show Solskjaer his ability.

Angel Gomes names three Manchester United idols amid suggestions of him signing a new contract

Manchester United attacking midfielder Angel Gomes, who is out of contract at the Old Trafford club this summer, has named three of his icons from the Theatre of Dreams. Not surprising, Cristiano Ronaldo was the first, with Nani the second and Carlos Tevez as the third. All three did their bit at the club and had ability, amongst other things.

Gomes has been tipped with an exit from United this summer, with Chelsea reportedly interested in signing the player, who will be a free agent in July – although the rules surrounding players whose contracts would expire this summer will be changed enabling the players to represent their current club because of the delay to the season.

This could see Gomes remain at the Old Trafford club post-July, therefore giving United more time to convince him to sign a new contract. However, earlier on Monday, there was reported on Twitter that the player had signed a new contract, however, there was no confirmation from the club, which could be forthcoming.

Gomes has the ingredients to become a star in world football and many would prefer that to happen at United, rather than elsewhere, so if he has signed a new contract, it would be good news for the club, also showing the player make a supposed u-turn, if it is, in fact, true. In naming the idols that he has, if he achieved as much as them, he would be a hit.

At United, Ronaldo arrived at the club in the summer of 2003, replacing David Beckham who left the same summer, donning the famous number seven shirt. In six years, he achieved a hell of a lot, making a total of 292 appearances, scoring 118 goals and 69 assists. When he left the club for Real Madrid in an £80 million deal, it was devastating.

Nani arrived at the club in the summer of 2007, two years before Ronaldo departed, never really hitting it off at United but still having some great times at the club, He made a total of 230 appearances, coring 40 goals and 73 assists, which is a good return for a good player, who is now playing in the MLS with Orlando City.

Tevez is a player that many will associate as a villain for where he went to after he left United, which was more down to the Glazers than the player himself. The Argentinian made 99 appearances for United, scoring 34 goals and 14 assists in his two-year stint at the club. He also scored 73 goals and 35 assists at Manchester City, making 148 appearances.

Imagine a player taking on the attributed of all three players, which could be something that Gomes achieves during his career, which could either continue at United or head elsewhere, if the reports of his signing a new contract are not true. Granted, the player has not lit the world alight when playing for the first team but at U23 level, he has been top draw.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping that the player remains at the club and that he does not get disheartened with the number of players at the club are linked to the club. The Norwegian manager is tasked with bringing back the glory days to the club. Gomes could achieve a lot at United, hopefully he realises that and continues his rise to the first team.

Manchester United set to let Angel Gomes leave the club as a free agent; Chelsea boosted – reports

Manchester United are reportedly set to let academy graduate Angel Gomes leave the club as a free agent next month as contract talks reach stalemate, according to reports. It was reported in the past week that United had offered the 19-year-old a take it or leave it offer of £30,000 per week to remain at United, which would also include add-on bonuses.

Gomes will become a free agent on the 30 June 2020, meaning that he would be able to speak to clubs in the United Kingdom to sign as a free agent from the 1 July 2020. Chelsea have been a club that has held an interest in the player for some time, which could be a destination for the attacking midfielder.

United obviously have an interest in keeping the player, but his bit-part role in the first team this season could be stopping him from committing to the club. However, when he has played for the first team, he had hardly put in the performances that would suggest he could be a regular in the team, so this is partly on him.

United would not be eligible to receive a fee for Gomes, should he end up leaving the club as a free agent, however, much like they received when Paul Pogba walked away from the club in the summer of 2012, United, who have had the teenager in their academy for a number of years, would be entitled to compensation if he signs for another club.

It has been reported, albeit by Goal, that the club and the player have reached a stalemate in negotiations, so it is clear that what the club has offered Gomes is not what he wants, so in this instance, the best thing is to let the clock run down, meaning the player will have a big decision on his hands, which could result in him walking away from the club.

This will be a gamble as despite Chelsea being interested in the player, there are no guarantees that he would be instantly promoted to the first team or played regularly. It could be that he plays for Chelsea U23s for the foreseeable future and given chances in the first team. If the same thing happens there, as it has at United, his gamble could be problematic.

Gomes is a talented player and he needs to understand that if he is not seen as a player ready for the rigours of first team football, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is unlikely to pick him regularly. Yes, he has put in some semi-decent appearances in the first team but has not scored or assisted a goal in the time he has been given.

He could have perhaps been offered more minutes on the pitch, with United missing the liked of Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay in midfield for much of the season but the arrival of Bruno Fernandes in January seemingly ended his chances of being that creative player in the first team, unless he did more to warrant that chance.

Gomes has played well for the clubs U18, U19 and U23 teams in his relatively short career to date, scoring 34 goals and 25 assists in 91 appearances at those levels. He has played ten times for the first team and has not scored or assisted a single goal. This could suggest that he is not yet ready to be given a starting place at United.

Manchester United make last-ditch offer to Angel Gomes to remain at Old Trafford club – reports

Manchester United have reportedly made a last-ditch offer to renew the contract of Angel Gomes, 19 who has been linked to Chelsea this summer. It is suggested that the Old Trafford club have offered the academy graduate £30,000 a week to remain a Red Devil with his contract set to expire this summer, making him a free agent.

United want to avert the player leaving the club as a free agent in what could be seen as a major embarrassment for the club as Gomes is seen as a star in the making. It is suggested the £30,000 a week offer does not include additional bonus for appearances, goals scored and trophies won, which could be lucrative for the player, if he wants it.

Back in March, Tahith Chong signed a two-year contract extension with United, with the option of a third year being added on. The 20-year-old was himself linked with an exit of the Old Trafford club which caused a lot more speculation. The player clearly saw United as the best club for him to continue his growth at, hopefully Gomes does too.

Gomes is reportedly on £17,000 a week at the moment, despite the fact he has made just six appearances for the senior side this season and has not yet scored or assisted for his club yet. There is still time for all of that though, if he desires to remain at United, a club he has been involved in since he was six-years-old.

Back in December 2017, Gomes, then 17, signed his first professional contract at United. It came a matter of months after he made his debut for the club, replacing Wayne Rooney in the final Premier League match of the 2016/17 season and becoming the youngest player to represent United since Duncan Edwards in 1953. Speaking at the time, Gomes said:

“Manchester United has always been a big part of my life. I have been with the club since the age of six and it was a proud moment for me when I made my first-team debut.

“This club is renowned for giving home grown players opportunities to progress into the first team and that was a major factor in me signing my first professional contract at this great club.

“I am still young but am looking forward to continuing my development with the help of the coaching staff and I will take every opportunity that comes my way.”

At the time of signing his first professional contract, Gomes seemed happy to be at the club and it seemed like a decision like he has now would be an easy one. However, with the fact that United have now seemingly made a last-ditch offer of a new contract, the player is obviously harbouring something which is delaying his decision.

Gomes is yet to win anything at United, although he was named the MVP in the Manchester United Premier Cup back in 2015, which was a youth pre-season tournament. If anything, it shows that he has some ability. Back in 2017, he was part of the England U17 squad which won the FIFA U17 World Cup in India, scoring two goals in the group stages.

The 19-year-old will have some involvement in the remainder of the 2019/20 season, if it does indeed happen but will need to work hard in order to find himself being picked to start matches. He’s an attacking midfielder and has played on the right or through the middle, which are positions occupied by Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, when all are fit.

This could be one of the reasons as to why the player has not yet signed a new contract with the club as his progress is seemingly blocked with the likes of Rashford, Pogba, Fernandes, Scott McTominay, and could be hindered further with new arrivals in the summer. His future is up to him at the end of the day but he will need the fight and desire to break through into the first team to achieve his dream. Nothing is easy.

Looking at Manchester United’s attacking depth for the 2019/20 season

Manchester United has some of the fastest attacking players in the Premier League this season. The departure of Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan and the rumoured departure of Alexis Sanchez is going to create more chances for youth to shine at the club, which is something that is clear Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is about.

Anthony Martial has been given his old number nine shirt back, a number he wore when he had his best season at the club to date. Perhaps he can now kick on and put the last two years behind him and find the route to success with the club. Marcus Rashford is a player who has risen in stature and was chosen to play ahead of Lukaku last season.

A player who is now getting the same finishing training that Cristiano Ronaldo received at the club, with Solskjaer clearly looking to get Rashford firing in the goals. After his brace against Chelsea last week; one from the penalty spot, he’s certainly heading in the right direction to increase his goals this season, scoring 13 in all competitions last season.

Attacking midfield depth; five players able to play here, four of them likely to be rotated here during the season.

This is an area which some would include in the midfield, however, with the 4-2-3-1 formation which Solskjaer predominantly uses, this is considered part of the attack, which is why it has been included in this part of the series of squad depth articles. In this area, which in the 4-2-3-1 formation, focuses on the number ten position, or the second striker role.

There are five players that could play in this position; Jesse Lingard, Angel Gomes, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, and Alexis Sanchez, providing he remains at the club, which may not be the case with the links to Inter. Of course, Solskjaer could draft in more youth if this position becomes problematic. Lingard seems the clear starter, based on the Chelsea match.

If Pogba was played in this position, the midfield would struggle, unless the trusted players performed to the best of their abilities and found a way to deal with their roles, leaving Pogba to play a more creative role. However, with Gomes, Mata and to a point, Sanchez, Pogba may not need to play in this position.

Winger depth; seven players able to play in these position but two of those may not be suited.

Since Daniel James arrived from Swansea City for £15 million in the summer, there was a clear problem on the wing for United. The right-wing position was literally none existent with the likes of Mata, Lingard, Rashford, Martial and even Lukaku playing there. Since James arrived, there are more options with United able to utilise the pace of players.

There are seven players able to play on the wing; Martial, Rashford, James, Mata, Sanchez, Tahith Chong and Mason Greenwood. Five of the seven offer pace, ability, determination and hunger. Mata offers the ability to read the game, although a central position, when he plays, would be better for the squad.

James made his Premier League debut a week ago, coming on in the second half against Chelsea, scoring less than ten minutes later. His pace was problematic for Chelsea and he used his own mistake in the box to carve his name into the history books at the club. Greenwood, Chong, Martial and Rashford also have the pace, although one of the latter two will play a different role. The depth is alright here.

Striker depth; four players are able to play in this area but two of them are destined to lead the line

This is the area which despite Lukaku leaving the club this summer, could well be problematic for Solskjaer. He never replaced the Belgian and unless he has a plan to sign a free agent, will probably stick to what he has in the squad. Martial has led the line against Chelsea and Rashford is also capable of playing here.

Looking at the depth, there are other options which include Greenwood, Sanchez (if he stays), and Lingard (to a point). It may look a bit weak if you look past Martial and Rashford but for one position in the team, there are four options, with more if you look to the academy. D’Mani Bughail-Mellor has scored a few goals for the U23s already this season.

I am not suggesting that he’s ready to play for the first team, however, was Rashford ready before he scored the brace against Midtjylland back in February 2016, then following suit against Arsenal in the Premier League days later? Solskjaer has a few different options and if he tries other players out in this position, he might find that he has more.

I would suggest that this is going to be between both Rashford and Martial for the large part of the season. If Rashford leads the line, Martial could be rested with James playing on the left-wing. If Martial starts, Rashford could play on the left, or James could play there, giving Rashford a rest. It is obviously not the best but could work.

If Sanchez stays this season, I am not saying he will be a starter, but he will be an option, but if rumours are true, he has asked to leave the club and could be on his way out. Could Solskjaer sign a free agent to bolster his side? There are options, although not great ones. I think he would prefer to utilise the talented youth players in the mix.

With Rashford working on his finishing and Martial looking to overcome a turbulent time at United, it could be the winner that everyone is hoping for. There are good players in both of these two and it is about time that they showed themselves and stood up to be counted. If Solskjaer manages to turn the tide with this squad, he can do anything.

The formation above shows the depth in all four of the attacking positions in the 4-2-3-1 formation. If different formations are played, the depth will still be there but it will obviously increase/decrease in various positions. Solskjaer will have a plan of what he is aiming to achieve this season. He also has an idea of the players he will need to target either in January or next summer.

Sir Alex Ferguson once said that ‘attack wins you matches but defence wins you titles’. The defence is the strongest part of United’s squad with the attack being the second strongest area in the squad. The midfield has weaknesses which need to be strengthened but that could be done without money, giving youth players opportunities over time.

Obviously, supporters of the club expected major changes this summer, which was never going to happen. Every summer you see supporters demanding that players are sold etc but in most cases, it does not happen as it is not an easy thing to do. Then, toxicity comes into the fan base and people moan incessantly, which is boring.

copyright: JW