Angel Gomes‘ time at Manchester United has come to an end. His contract expired on June 30 and he said his goodbyes at Carrington yesterday. Here, we take a look at where things went wrong for the highly-regarded youngster.
Angel Gomes: It Could Have Been Different
The Right Loan Move is Extremely Beneficial
Going out on loan as a young footballer is not full proof. It could quite literally make, break, or even stagnate your career. It’s probably not seen as that big of a risk on the outside, but many a footballer at Manchester United go out on loan and never really come back.
Many are of the belief that Manchester United could improve the way they go about sending players on loan. There have been many mistakes in recent times, whether that be the Red Devils’ fault or that of the player or the loaning club.
Regardless, though, the very best players have tended to shine through.
It’s not difficult to see that Dean Henderson is the most successful example in recent times. He has worked his way up from non-league football with Stockport County and League Two with Grimsby Town to find himself now amongst the very best goalkeepers in the Premier League.
If as Dean Henderson did, you go out and find the right clubs – Shrewsbury Town and Sheffield United most notably in his case – then you start with an advantage, though that’s not even half of the job done. Ideally, you need to join a club that will play you, or at least plans to, but the rest is up to you.
You have to get the fans on side, and you have to earn the right to be on the team sheet. Henderson has done both. Also, you have to prove to your parent club that you deserve to stick around, Dean is doing so.
Starved of Senior Football
What is perhaps most difficult, is not getting the opportunity to do that. Not getting the opportunity to show yourself. Instead, being starved in the reserves with players you’ve been showing how to play the game since you were six-years-old.
Everyone develops differently and some players need that taste of senior football sooner rather than later as opposed to ten minutes here and there.
Angel Gomes has suffered that fate. He has been unable to go out and play senior football and show people what he can do at a relevant level. His development as such, has been held back.
Why Didn’t he go Out on Loan?
Gomes and Tahith Chong have come through together in the famous Manchester United academy, but both look in desperate need of a prolonged run of games.
They couldn’t go out this season as both started the campaign with 12 months remaining on their contracts. Manchester United aren’t in the business of allowing their talent to attract interest from suitors when they would be available on a free, which is relatively understandable.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has factored Gomes’ uncertainty into the decision not to play him, which helps nobody.
In this case, United have been seen to be allowing players’ development to stutter. That doesn’t send a positive message to the rest of the academy.
Gomes has a case to say been let down by the club. They’ve surely had an opportunity to get him out on loan before that, but didn’t. Maybe it was too soon? It’s frustrating for a player of his ability and potential to have fallen into this situation.
The reality is a loan would have helped him grow, as a player, a person and physically.
Gomes isn’t free of any blame though, had he renewed prior to this season, he may have been able to go out on loan. This may have been the optimal time. However, he’d already started thinking about leaving beforehand – specifically the Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain, where Chong came off the bench ahead of him.
I think all of the parties can be blamed in this case. It’s now up to Angel to make up for lost time and kick on, wherever he decides to go.
Frank Lampard Dismisses Chelsea Move
Chelsea have been linked with taking United’s once-prized asset. Though, manager Frank Lampard has now distanced himself from such interest.
Lampard said, “I can elaborate to the point that it’s never been mentioned at my end.”
The Athletic have also claimed sources have played down Chelsea’s interest and Gomes is yet to decide on his next club. It’s a big decision. Career defining. I for one hope he finds the right club for him.