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Scout Report

Scout Report: Angel Gomes | Best of his generation

Duncan Kwok writes a detailed scout report about Angles Gomes, the Manchester United youngster.

Manchester United have over the years produced exquisite talent, the likes of Best, Beckham, Scholes and in more recent years Lingard and Rashford. One player that is causing ripples albeit within the Manchester United community is Angel Gomes, an attacking midfielder by trade who has been hailed as the best player of his generation by many people including United first team manager, José Mourinho.

Who is Angel Gomes?

Born in London and raised in Salford, Gomes has a football rich background, his father Gil was an Angolan Portuguese-based striker who was part of the famed Benfica Academy but his career never materialised to much and spent his entire career in the lower leagues of Portugal and England. It seems Gomes was always destined to be a Manchester United player with, Luis Nani being his cousin. Signed by United at 13 years old, Gomes has played above his age group at every level, making his Under-18 debut at the staggering age of 14 and in July 2015 he was named Most Valuable Player in the Manchester United Premier Cup even though his team came 12th. He then followed that up with an even more impressive feat, winning the Jimmy Murphy Player of the Year, an award presented to the best young player for the season. In winning the trophy, he became the youngest ever recipient of the award. In the process, he scored 12 goals in 19 games and had a handful of assists. Days later, he made his first team debut against Crystal Palace at the tender age of 16 years and 263 days and becoming the youngest player to represent Manchester United since Duncan Edwards while also becoming the first player born in the 2000s to appear in the Premier League.

In terms of international experience, Gomes began his international career in August 2015 when he made 2 appearances for the England U-16 team, he then played a further 7 matches with the Under-16s and captained the team twice. He then played and captained for the Under-17s and scored 4 minutes into his debut in a match against Belgium. Gomes was due to take part in the Under-17 European Championship but couldn’t participate due to injury.

What is his style of play?

While, Gomes is versatile and skillful enough to play any of the attacking positions, his best position is the central attacking midfielder role with his wonderful passing, deadly pace, composed finishing and brilliant intelligence. Gomes likes to run at players and try tricks such as drag backs to get past his opponent or simply make his opponent look incredibly foolish. He also tends to drift into wider areas before cutting back in and laying off a pass. One trait very visible is that Gomes is always on the move, be it to finish off a move or create the killer pass. this makes him very hard to man mark.


What are his strengths?

Gomes possesses a plethora of skills including being technically brilliant, a cool finisher, great in game intelligence and tremendous leadership skills.

His abilities can be put to show because of his physical capabilities. While he may look small, he is surprisingly strong for his size. He is also mentally tough, he missed two months with injury but came back and slotted seamlessly into the Under-23s. Throughout his whole life, he has been dismissed as player that will never succeed due to his stature, but he has constantly made those claims look silly while never letting those claims to impact him negatively. This will certainly help him in the blitz and chaotic world of the Premier League, allowing him to transition better into a first team player for Manchester United.

Gomes in addition to being mentally and physically strong is a unique player because he can just about do anything in an attacking sense. He can start moves off with a burst of pace and wizard-like dribbling before making a wonderful pass, deliver the final pass or finish a move off with his slick finishing.

Throughout his career, Gomes has certainly been involved with leadership roles of whatever team he plays for. He has been the captain of the England Under 16s and Under 17s, displaying maturity and leadership each time he puts on the leadership armband.

What are his Weaknesses?

While, Gomes is certainly a quite complete player, like all young players there are still aspects in his play that he can improve on.

His aerial play including his heading needs improvement, while some would say that the reason for this fault in his play would be because of his height. The argument doesn’t stack up when you see Lionel Messi, one of the shortest players around beat Rio Ferdinand, a giant defender to a header and score. Improvement of his heading is essential for there will be games in which his team is trailing and the old long ball tactic is used and he could quite possibly be a focal point of the attack and the inability to head the ball well could exclude him from the starting line-up against teams which go for the aerial route.

His long shot ability is another area for improvement. While Gomes’ style of play is all about quick passing and movement before getting the close finish, there will be games in which his style of play doesn’t work and he might just need to shoot. For him, it isn’t that he doesn’t have the technique and accuracy to shoot from range but rather the unwillingness to shoot from range, and that might change quickly.

It also remains to be seen whether Gomes can survive in the cutthroat world of the Premier League, where one substandard performance lands you in hot water and an abysmal season lands you on the transfer list as seen by the situation revolving around Luke Shaw.

However, if Gomes fulfils his full potential, he will be a salivating joy to watch, cutting defences down and leaving defenders red-faced after being tricked by some delightful dribbling.

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Duncan Kwok
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