Why Man United should arrange a loan move for Angel Gomes in January
According to a report by Daily Mail, Manchester United are planning to send youngster Angel Gomes on loan in January to allow the academy prospect to gain more first-team exposure at the senior professional level.
As well as Gomes, the Red Devils are also exploring the possibility of arranging loan deals for fellow academy graduates James Garner and Tahith Chong during the mid-season trading period, with the club looking to offload a few of their burgeoning young talents to facilitate progression. (h/t Daily Mail)
Angel Gomes has started each of United’s first couple of Europa League fixtures against Astana and AZ Alkmaar. He also played a cameo off the bench in the 2-0 defeat at the hands of West Ham in the Premier League but the 19-year-old would get farther by honing his skills in a lower division.
The highly-rated academy prospect, who became United’s youngest first-team debutant since Duncan Edwards in 1953 during the 2016-17 season, has found himself on the periphery of the senior ranks over the past couple of campaigns.
Things haven’t really changed dramatically for him this term, despite Solskjaer putting a lot of emphasis on the development of up and coming homegrown players.
The England U20 international showed glimpses of his brilliance in the 1-0 victory over Astana in the Europa League but he has struggled to establish himself in the Premier League, with more established stars like Andreas Pereira, Juan Mata and Jese Lingard blocking the pathway to an attacking midfield role in the first-team.
Having featured regularly for United’s U18 and U23 sides in recent years, the London-born teenage sensation has racked up a staggering 26 goals and 15 assists in 61 appearances for the Red Devils across various age-group levels but he has only managed a total of 7 first-team appearances.
To put things into perspective, it should be a no-brainer for Man United to send Angel Gomes out on loan in January in a bid to take his development to the next level.
Racking up goals and assists in Premier League 2 for the U-23s is fair enough but if United are really looking at him as a player with a big future, then a loan move to a Football League club is the need of the hour.
Indeed, the 19-year-old has impressed with his energy, sharpness, speed of thought and creativity in the Europa League this season but an in-depth analysis of his performances would reveal that he still needs to work on cutting out the rough edges in his game.
A player very much in his formative years, Gomes is still a work in progress and not quite the finished article just yet, meaning that United need to ensure that he plays regularly at the senior professional level to further his development.
Playing cameos off the bench and getting the odd start in the domestic cup games isn’t going to do him a world of good and a temporary move to a lower division would certainly enhance his chances of playing first-team football each and every week.
Most youngsters, no matter how talented they are, have to go through loan spells before establishing themselves at regular starters at big clubs and a short stint away from Old Trafford could go a long way towards helping Angel Gomes progress by leaps and bounds in the years to come.
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Suffice to say, loan spells are a necessity in the development curve of all youngsters and, with Solskjaer looking to integrate homegrown academy talents in the first-team, the Red Devils will be hoping that the 19-year-old returns next summer as a more complete player capable of challenging for a substantial role in the first-team.
With that in mind, United should make it a priority to send Gomes on loan in January, as such a stance could reap rich rewards in the future.