Why Man United must retain Angel Gomes at all costs
Manchester United are in danger of losing young sensation Angel Gomes, who is being linked with a move to Barcelona, according to Daily Mail.
The 19-year-old has made four senior appearances for United this season—including three starts in the UEFA Europa League—but can sign a pre-contract agreement with any non-English club as of January 1st.
Gomes was omitted from the United squad that defeated Colchester United 3-0 on Wednesday to advance to the Carabao Cup semi-finals, where they were drawn opposite bitter rivals Manchester City.
He made his senior United debut in May 2017 when he became not only the youngest player to represent the club in almost 65 years (16 years, 263 days) but also the first Premier League player born in the 2000s.
Gomes is yet to score in eight first-team appearances for United but his creativity was one of the few bright spots in a dismal 2-1 Europa League defeat away to Astana in November. The teenager has been part of a fresh injection of youth players since Solskjaer took over as United boss, alongside the likes of Tahith Chong, 20, Mason Greenwood and James Garner, both 18.
He made two appearances off the bench the last term and featured a fair amount during pre-season. However, guaranteed game time has been hard to come by as Solskjaer battles to guide United back into the top-four.
Gomes, who has been with the United academy since the age of six, has somewhat lost steam, with Greenwood overtaking him and making a mark in the limited opportunities.
With Paul Pogba plagued by injuries, United’s options behind the striker have been limited – Andreas Pereira, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata have rotated in the role but none of them has done much creatively.
With such a lack of quality in attacking midfield, United need a playmaker in the next summer window. Should United tie Gomes down to a new deal though, he would be the perfect backup to rotate with a marquee signing.
If Solskjaer truly wants to build a team around young players, Gomes should be given whatever he wants to stay.
Even if it means sending the youngster out on loan for a short period to further his development, and satisfy his need for first-team football, it would benefit United in the long term. Gomes is one of the most promising young players and having him as second-choice No. 10 ahead of Pereira and Lingard would represent a club looking to progress – not stagnate.