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Will Angel Gomes Be The One That Got Away?

When Paul Pogba controversially departed Manchester United back in 2012, there was a feeling of inevitably that the player would go on to achieve big things.

The Frenchman’s potential was evident for all to see, but he become frustrated over the lack of first-team opportunities, and when he found himself behind Rafael Da Silva in the pecking order, enough was enough.

It remains to be seen whether Angel Gomes has had his ‘final straw’ moment with the club, but everything seems to be pointing in this direction. As per the Manchester Evening News, the midfielder is refusing to sign a new contract due to doubts over his pathway into the first-team. Will he be a Pogba 2.0?

With his current deal set to expire next month, the 19-year-old looks destined to leave the club on a free transfer, after rejecting multiple offers throughout the season.

Gomes’ reluctance to commit to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s project has made him quite the outcast out of his academy peers, with names like Mason Greenwood, Brandon Williams, Tahiti Chong and James Garner all putting pen to paper on new deals. Investing in the youth has been one of the Norwegian’s main priorities since taking charge, alongside integrating such talents into the first-team picture.

In fairness to the playmaker, his chances have been more limited than the aforementioned players. He’s been included in ten senior matchday squads, making just six appearances. Three of these have been starts in the Europa League, a competition that Solskjaer has utilised to give the youth a chance. Gomes has impressed during such camoes, maintaining a 91.3% pass success rate, averaging 1.7 key passes per game.

The teenager’s experience in the Premier League has been a different story though, racking up just nineteen minutes on the field this season. This is where the frustration has primarily stemmed from, particularly given the side’s lack of creativity at times.

Throughout youth level, Gomes has gained praise for his ability to bring the ball forward and create openings in the final third. His low centre of gravity enables him to turn quickly in possession, not being afraid to take an opponent on. In his three Europa games, he averaged 1.7 dribbles per 90 minutes from the midfield.

Such a skillset could have been deployed more this season, particularly when United have found themselves up against a deep block. Their tendency to solely rely on the counter has been the side’s downfall at times, as they have struggled against teams that like to restrict room in the final third. Daniel James, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial prefer running in-behind, with the attacking shape becoming clustered against lower-tabled sides.

The home defeat to Burnley back in January immediately springs to mind as an exmaple, a fixture where Gomes was forced to watch on from the sidelines. Both Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard were selected over the youngster that day – a reoccurring narrative that has seemingly pushed the midfielder to the exit doors. Both these players find themselves ahead of Gomes in the pecking order, despite their lack of attacking output on the field.

There has been very little to suggest that this pattern would change next season, hence the teenager’s reluctance to stay. He feels he is at a pivotal stage in his career and ready for the next step, with the club not offering enough encouragement to make Gomes feel like the place to do so is at Old Trafford.

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Manchester United Want Angel Gomes To Stay

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Integrating academy talents into the first-team picture was always going to be an important part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s rebuilding job as Manchester United manager.

The club marketed the three words ‘Youth, courage, success’ heavily last summer, projecting an emphasis on the importance of young players, during the Norwegian’s tenure. Actions speak louder than words though, and United have backed their statement up.

Since Solskjaer took the reigns, we have seen the club tie down a large majority of their academy graduates. The star figures of Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams have committed their futures to Ole’s project, with fellow names like James Garner and Tahiti Chong following in the same direction. Even Timothy Fosu-Mensah’s contract received an extension.

One player who hasn’t followed such suit is Angel Gomes. The Englishman’s contract is set to expire on July 1st, inevitably fuelling plenty of speculation around his future. Whilst it won’t fill fans with great hope that the teenager has left it so long, the club are reportedly keen for him to stay.

As per James Robson of the Evening Standard, United are still trying to convince Gomes to remain at Old Trafford. Those at the club are reportedly big fans of the talent, despite his lack of game-time this season.

These reports coincide with The Sun, who recently cited that United have ditched a last minute offer to Gomes worth £30,000. This base salary is without bonuses – quite a lucrative amount for a player that has two Premier League appearances to his name this season.

With Chelsea reportedly waiting in the wings though, the clock is certainly ticking for United to get a deal done. From reports, we can take confidence in saying the club would prefer to keep the young talent, but they appear to be in a moral cross-fire when it comes to offering a fair deal.

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Angel Gomes Could Sign New Contract Extension

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There is only player in Manchester United’s senior squad whose contract expires this summer – Angel Gomes.

The 19-year-old has found himself subject to various transfer rumours and speculation over the past couple of months, as he will be available on a free come June.

READ MORE: Major Jude Bellingham to Manchester United Update

Such a scenario seems to have shades of Paul Pogba’s situation back in 2012, when the player grew frustrated with his lack of playing time. Similar to the Frenchman, Gomes has come through the ranks at United with a very high reputation, but is yet to fully showcase his talent on the main stage.

Sky Sports’ journalist James Cooper though, has shed some light on the player’s future. He claims that ‘the signs are positive’, particularly with the club rebuilding their squad around such young talents.

In fact, Gomes is the only one of his peers to have not extended his deal, with the club being keen on tying down their highly-regard prospects to inline with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s fresh new philosophy.

It appears the Red Devils have placed an offer on the table, but the Englishman appears to be reluctant to commit just yet. Is he holding our for a better deal, or is he in search of first-team minutes elsewhere?

Cooper also cites that a decision will have to be made whether Gomes would head out on loan should he extend with United, to help benefit his development.

On paper, this route would seem the most beneficial to take, for the sake of both the player and club.

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Dealing With The Angel Gomes Predicament

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Even before his first-team debut, Angel Gomes had long been one of the most exciting youth prospects to have come through the Manchester United academy in recent years.

The 19-year-old Englishman has shined throughout all age groups, most notably the u18s – where he netted 12 goals and half a dozen assists – and has been likened to everyone from Paul Scholes to Andres Iniesta. 

However, despite other graduates like Scott McTominay, Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams regularly breaking into the first team, Gomes’ chances have been few and far between.

Impatience growing

Other fringe players like Tahith Chong and James Garner have also managed to surpass his total play-time in just a handful of appearances, and whilst they have shown glimpses of potential, Gomes has still only made a few modest cameos in lesser fixtures. 

READ MORE: Who Is Man United Transfer Target Dennis Zakaria?

After only playing nineteen minutes in the Premier League and just three starts in the Europa League, it is no surprise that he is considering his future. According to reports, Gomes is still yet to sign a new deal, with the current offer of a three-year contract worth up to £30,000 a week still on the table. 

This comes after United’s previous offer of a two-year deal and a salary of £25,000 a week was rejected, during the club’s last spree of extensions. But why has the supposed starlet not seen quite the same treatment as his contemporaries?

Blood runs red 

Gomes maintains that breaking into the first team was a dream come true and that competing for major trophies as a senior player has always been the plan. What’s more, the midfielder has an even deeper connection to United than many, as not only did he join his boyhood club at the age of six, but he is also the godson of former winger, Luis Nani.

So, if United has always played such a huge part in his personal and professional life, why would he be so ready to leave so soon? The easy answer is lack of minutes: the frustration at seeing other academy graduates feature more frequently in the first team is perfectly understandable. 

However, he is still one of the youngest players in the squad and shouldn’t expect too much too soon. Part of the reason other fledgling talents have begun to seal their spot in the tea is not only through injuries, but because they grabbed the opportunity when it presented itself.

It remains unclear as to whether any other factors are playing a part behind the scenes, but with all of his fellow graduates accepting new deals, as well as renewals for other players that remain a key part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plan, like Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, it is entirely possible. 

Pastures greener?

With his future in doubt since the summer, Gomes has been courted by a number of clubs, including Barcelona and Inter Milan, with the most serious interest coming from Stamford Bridge.

On the one hand, Frank Lampard’s set up at Chelsea makes a lot of sense: he is still looking to fill the creative void left by Eden Hazard and, similar to Ole’s approach, has been building a young, primarily British squad.

On the other hand, with their transfer ban having now been dropped, this long-term strategy may be swapped out for more ready-made solutions, with the acquisition of Hakim Ziyech already paying credence to this.

The logical route forward, obviously, would be to send him out on loan: not only would a future at United still be on the cards but he would stand a greater chance of regular minutes, should that still not be a concern. His small stature and lack of physicality may have been an issue up to this point, whereas, a loan move offers a chance not only for his game to develop but his body too.

Should he eventually choose to sign and stay in the fold, his emergence may coincide with a changing of the guard, as phasing out other older players like Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic may free up spots in that midfield rotation. 

Regardless, he must be patient and make more of those minor appearances – there seems to be no question about his ability but the fact is, he hasn’t really proved himself when it’s counted just yet. The real question is, will Angel remain a Devil, or will his United career be over before it has truly even started?

READ MORE: Rio Ferdinand on nearly joining Barcelona

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Angel Gomes Man United Contract Update

Manchester United are still hopeful that Angel Gomes will sign a new contract with the club, according to ESPN.

The 19-year-old’s current deal runs out this summer, and he is only one of few academy products to not extend and commit their future to the Red Devils.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is trying to tie down the club’s most promising talents, with aim of creating a young, energetic core to the squad of Man United. However, Gomes is yet to add his name to the list.

ESPN though, report that talks with the Englishman are ongoing and that United are ‘hopeful’ that a new deal can be agreed.

Tahith Chong was another youth prospect that looked destined to depart Old Trafford, before he made a dramatic U-turn and put pen to paper.

Most of the youth squad have extended until 2022, with an option for a further year after. Such deals will cover these talents during a pivotal time where they can emerge into the first-team picture, but Gomes could be tempted to look elsewhere.

Whilst the likes of Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams have been handed their chances on a consistent basis, Gomes has only managed to made six senior appearances this season.

Is he holding out for a more lucrative offer from the club, or seeking opportunities elsewhere?