All the talk has been about Liverpool sensation Ben Woodburn but United may have the finest youngster in the North-West
HE’S the Angel who could prove the future King of the Devils.
The teenage sensation already getting envious glances from Barcelona.
And the young man who could prove that Ben Woodburn, despite last week’s record-breaking heroics, might not be the North West’s brightest young star after all.
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He is Angel Gomes, the 16-year-old sensation Manchester United believe could prove the brightest of the diamonds to force their way through the Old Trafford ranks.
United have always had the biggest reputation of all when it comes to developing their own talent.
Think the Babes of 1958. Think Fergie’s Fledglings. Think, of course, of the Class of 92. The signs are that pretty soon another name will be leaping off the conveyor belt.
Gomes is nine months past his 16th birthday, but is catapulting through the youth ranks at United.
The Red Devils youngster can play any of the attacking roles, but experienced eyes reckon he is a sure-fire No 10. At the highest level as well.
Gomes – born in London when his Portuguese dad, Gil, was playing for Hendon – joined United at 13 and has constantly played above his age group.
Indeed, he made his debut in the Under 18s at just 14 and two years later hit a hat-trick off the bench against Everton.
He also captained England’s Under 17s and celebrated his 16th birthday all in the same week.
That’s the sort of stuff even Carlsberg would struggle to cram into an advert!
If you get the chance, catch him in action for United’s youngsters. The way he’s going it will be one hell of an “I was there when…” moments in future years.
Marcus Rashford, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Andreas Pereira and Axel Tuanzebe are the United kids currently – or imminently – to make the first team breakthrough.
But young Angel is already drawing comparisons way, way beyond that. Beyond most established stars on the Old Trafford books, in fact.
David Silva and even Lionel Messi are those he is already being likened to, with his close control, incredible technique and knack of finding space where there is none.
Even now opponents are putting two men on him because they are all too aware he can turn a game in the blink of an eye.
Barcelona are all too aware as well. But – breathe easy United fans – Gomes, for now at least, only has dreams of pulling on a first team shirt at Old Trafford.
True, he needs to grow, to fill out, to justify all the hype. Too many have been tipped as stars of the future and faded away before a senior appearance.
Yet just read the words of interim reserve boss Nicky Butt, better placed than most to know what it takes to fight your way from street level to penthouse flat.
Butt, who previously worked with the Academy, is equally wary of blowing too many trumpets before a kid has grown out of his footballing nappies.
Yet even Butt admitted: “Angel is a young talented player who we have massive hopes for.”
Coming from a club which shields its youngsters more fiercely than anyone, that’s the equivalent of taking out a peak time TV advert.
You might not know much about him yet, but it won’t be too long before you do, believe me.
Angel Gomes…remember that name.