Manchester United’s next big academy prospect Angel Gomes picked up the club’s Youth Team Player of the Year award on Thursday night and has immediately been thrust into the first team.
The 16-year-old followed in the footsteps of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Phil Neville and last year’s recipient Marcus Rashford, in winning the award named after Sir Matt Busby’s assistant manager Jimmy Murphy.
The attacking midfielder is the youngest ever recipient of the award on a night where Antonio Valencia and Ander Herrera were also honoured.
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United are in the midst of an injury crisis ahead of Wednesday’s Europa League final against Ajax and Jose Mourinho is unwilling to risk many of his stars in a nothing game against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Sunday.
As a result Gomes could be in line for a shock debut, after being called up to train with the first-team squad on Friday morning.
But who is Angel Gomes?
From a footballing family
Gomes comes from a family with quite the footballing background with his father, Gil, being a former Portuguese under-20 World Cup winner and his brother, Rico, in United’s academy up until he was 16.
He is also the cousin of former Manchester United star, Nani.
Career so far
Gomes has been at United since he was seven years old and has always played above his age group, representing the under-18s when he was only 14 and became the youngest player to score a hat-trick for the club at Academy level in 15 years.
Despite being born in Portugal, Gomes has represented England at under-15 and under-16 level, captaining the latter in 2016.
He was forced to pull out of England’s under-17 squad for the European Championships this year due to injury.
He is also eligible for Angola.
What has he said
On winning the Jimmy Murphy Youth Team Player of the Year award: “It’s a dream come true. Being a young age, it’s things like this you wish for. All the hard work you put in at the training ground – this is the end result.”
What they have said
Nani: “Congratulations, my kid, you’re on the right track!”
Academy coach Nicky Butt: “It’s ridiculous. I look at the kids and they’re miles better than I was at their age – technically. Angel Gomes is someone we’ve got massive hopes for.”