Angel Gomes set to become Manchester United’s youngest-ever Premier League player at 16


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Youth team Player of the Year set for debut against Palace as Jose Mourinho saves top stars for Europa League final

ANGEL GOMES is set  to become Manchester United’s youngest-ever Premier League player against Crystal Palace.

On Thursday he was named youngest winner of their Jimmy Murphy Youth Team Player of the Year award — at 16 years and nine months.

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Angel Gomes…set for first team debut aged 16 years and 9 months

And on Sunday he should top off a special week by featuring against Palace on the final day.

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Manager Jose Mourinho has included him in his squad of kids  — and is likely  to give Gomes a  second half run-out.

United’s current  youngest Prem player  is Federico Macheda, whose winner against Aston Villa in 2009 came on his debut at 17 years, seven months.

Gomes can play wide or as a No 10, and has scored 12 goals  in 19 starts for the youth team this season.

He is one of a number of young players Mourinho will use as he saves his first team for Wednesday’s Europa League final against Ajax.

Yet the Special One  admits his rookies are not ready for the challenge facing them.

Who are ya?

ZACHARY DEARNLEY (18): Winger is two-footed and impressed Jose Mourinho with a 25-minute cameo in Monday’s  3-2  Under-23 win over Tottenham.

AXEL TUANZEBE (19):  The centre-back’s first start came at Arsenal  and he has started both league games since then.

DEMETRI MITCHELL (20): Flying winger-turned-left-back has been  on bench in recent weeks against  Spurs and Southampton.

MATTY WILLOCK (20): Central midfielder has  been a regular in Warren Joyce’s United Under-21s.

SCOTT McTOMINAY (20): Big midfielder is 6ft 4in and made his debut off the bench at Arsenal.

JOEL PEREIRA (20): The Portugese keeper is held in high regard by boss Mourinho and made his debut as a substitute in January’s 4-0 FA Cup fourth-round victory over Wigan.

JOSH HARROP (21): Hit a a hat-trick from midfield against Tottenham on Monday in  what was  the first reserves game that  Mourinho has watched as United boss.

ANGEL GOMES (16): The cousin of former Red Nani is an attacker and has captained England’s Under-17 team.

Reserve keeper Joel Castro Pereira gives Angel Gomes a hug during training

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Reserve keeper Joel Castro Pereira gives Angel Gomes a hug during training

Gomes in action for England Under 17s

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Gomes in action for England Under 17’s

He is set to play in the second half at Palace

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He is set to come on in the second half at Palace

Mourinho said: “No. One in  the middle of  an experienced structure, I think yes.

“But  I think playing lots of them together, no!

“The only positive is to save my players for Wednesday — it’s the only positive thing.

“For the kids, it will be a great experience. It’s Old Trafford, the Premier League, Crystal Palace, last match of the season.

“It will be a big occasion for them and a good experience. But, I repeat, the best level for  a young player is in  an experienced team.

“So many kids at the same time, I don’t think is good, as there is a big  difference in  quality between them and Crystal Palace.”

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Mourinho consulted with Academy chief Nicky Butt before picking his team for the game at Old Trafford.

He said: “Of course I spoke with Nicky and his opinion is  important.

“Every time that  they played at Old  Trafford during the season, I’ve been there.

“They have trained with me many times. I know the kids and, of course, we try to bring the ones we think are more adapted to the needs of the team.”

Whether it proves to be an uncomfortable day for the kids or not, Mourinho will have no regrets about throwing them in at the deep end.

And he is still fuming  about the fixture pile-up that United have faced this season.

Say cheese...Gomes front rowthird left) faces the camera with the England YUnder 17s

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Say cheese…Gomes (front row, third left) faces the camera with the England Under 17’s

It will be a 'great experience' for Gomes, says Jose Mourinho

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It will be a ‘great experience’ for Gomes, says Jose Mourinho

Mourinho said: “Since January, we have played 37 matches and the Premier League is 38 matches.

“So we played a complete  Premier League, minus one match, in five months.

“This  is normally what a team does for a year — and we had four big injuries with surgeries that reduced the  number of  players we had.”

Paul Pogba will be one of  the experienced members of Sunday’s team having missed training and the Southampton game following the recent death of his father.

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Mourinho said: “Paul is fine. He’s  strong guy, strong mentality.

“He’s learning how to live after his father passed away, but he’s strong and  knows  needs to play on Sunday because he hasn’t  played and hasn’t trained for a long time.

“He needs  minutes on the pitch, so  plays against Palace.”

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