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On the 25th February 2016, a relatively unknown teenager introduced himself to world football with two goals in the Europa League. The name Marcus Rashford suddenly rolled off the tongue like we had been uttering his name for years. On that special night in Manchester, a star was born.
The rise of this incredibly talented and down to earth young man isn't just 'a one off' for Manchester United Football Club - a new revelation is brewing in the youth team and his name is Angel Gomes.
At the age of 16, Gomes has drawn comparisons to Manchester United's biggest prospect for a number of reasons. Like Rashford, his maturity on the pitch surpasses his years. He may be the youngest player to score a hat-trick for Manchester United's academy in 15 years but Gomes remains level headed.Brimming with confidence he may be, but the youngster's boots remain firmly on the ground.
Gomes has football running through his veins. He is the cousin of former Manchester United winger Nani and his father Gil was an Angolan-born former Portugal Under-21 striker who played alongside the likes of Luis Figo and Rui Costa.
In an exclusive interview with SPORTbible, the 16-year-old spoke highly of his brother, who also came through the ranks at Manchester United:
I looked up to my brother when i was younger. He (Rico) played for Manchester United when I was younger and growing up, I always watched him play. He could literally do anything. I just stood amazed at what he could do with a ball.
My father Gil was a huge inspiration. He always made the time to teach me skills. He made sure I tried those skills during a game, no matter how hard they were
Nani is another big influence in my life. When he was at United, he always supported me and my brother and had our backs whenever times got tough. Nani taught me to always be humble and never change. I look up to him on and off the field. He is my role model and will be for many years to come
His father Gill may have taught him skills as a child but Gomes has it all. Unlike a large proportion of players in his age group, the 16-year-old has the ability to find the right pass. He knows when to shoot, and when to find a man.
This attribute, combined with incredible pace and skill, means that he can and will become a phenomenal number 10 in the coming years. Whether than be in the Premier League or abroad.
Back in October 2016, Gomes alerted Barcelona scouts after a number of impressive performances for club and country. Again, he kept his feet on the ground and showed his maturity.
Many people have asked whether Gomes will leave Manchester United in the coming months, but we can officially say that after speaking with the 16-year-old prodigy, we can confirm that he wants to stay at Old Trafford for the foreseeable future:
In five years time, I would like to be playing professionally for Manchester United. Winning titles is huge for me. I want to play international football, play in World Cups and European Championships. I want to be the best player at my age level.
I set myself high standards and try to push myself to play at the highest level
If you look at the Premier League's most talented number 10's, Coutinho and De Bruyne for example. Gomes shares a huge amount of similarities with the big guns.
Great technique, superb spacial awareness, pace, skill and bags of creativity - remind you of anyone?
Someone who Gomes speaks highly about is former Barcelona playmaker Ronaldinho, who was a huge role model for the player growing up:
Ronaldinho taught me to play with a smile. He had a certain way of playing that was so unique and different. Not many players could pull off the tricks he did. Ronaldinho never seemed to play under pressure.
He was always the main man during his playing days and nothing phased him.
On the 16th October 2015, Angel Gomes uploaded his first Instagram post and his reputation has elevated to an incredible 75,000 followers at the age of 16.
Here are some outrageous clips from his page:
Unsurprisingly, Gomes has featured for England's youth teams from schoolboy level to the Under 17's and was called up to the England under-16 squad aged just 14.
England Under 17's thrashed Germany 8-1 back in October as the Manchester United man captained the side to a historic victory. As we read earlier, Gomes is passionate about his international future and he spoke of his great pride when representing England at youth level:
Playing for England youth has been a privilege. I'm very honoured to be captain and I've already experienced a huge amount with the team. The England youth team is full of talent, which helps us massively in big tournaments.
We look forward to playing in the European Championship in May but we must play well in our qualifiers to progress
Te 16-year-old has been at Old Trafford since May 2014 after previously impressing on trial with the under-17s aged just 13.
His future at Old Trafford looks promising. "Angel Gomes is a young talented player that we have massive hopes for." said academy boss and former United midfielder Nicky Butt.
A great talent with huge prospects.
Remember the name: Angel Gomes.
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