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Man United starlet dubbed “most intelligent player” after free Old Trafford transfer



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Angel Gomes has been dubbed the “most intelligent player” at Lille three years after he left Manchester United for free.

Once upon a time, Angel Gomes was revered in Manchester United‘s academy as one of the next big midfield talents to step through Carrington under Jose Mourinho.

Gomes made his debut on 21 May 2017 off the bench against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford at age 16 years, 263 days old, becoming the youngest player to represent the club since Duncan Edwards and the first player to make a Premier League appearance born in the 2000s.

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He then signed his first professional contract with the club in December of that year, but following this, he found his first-team opportunities hard to come by. He eventually refused to sign a contract extension and left for free in June 2020.

Gomes then took a big risk and signed for Ligue 1 side Lille. He then went on loan to Portuguese club Boavista, where he made 32 appearances, scoring six goals and providing six assists.

He has since gone on to become an integral part of Lille’s side and has now accumulated 106 appearances for the French team, scoring six goals and providing 18 assists. Lille are now setting up to face Aston Villa in the Europa Conference League on Thursday evening.

Lille manager Paulo Fonseca has been waxing lyrical about Gomes ahead of the tie.

“Angel is maybe the most intelligent player I have in my team,” Fonseca told BBCSport. “He understands faster than the others everything about the game, he loves the game, he loves to learn and he is a player with big skills, big technique.

“He is a player who, under pressure, it is not easy to steal the ball off him and who discovers the space so easily.

“He is young, he has a big talent. I believe with the right coach, with the right project, with the right game for him, he can have a possibility to have a big step in his career.”

Although Gomes departed from United almost four years ago, it is always brilliant to see a United academy graduate flourish elsewhere, and we wish him all the best against Aston Villa.