Head of Academy Nicky Butt has tipped Angel Gomes for a bright future at Manchester United after the 17-year-old penned his first senior deal earlier this week.
The youngster emerged onto the world stage last season after winning the ‘Jimmy Murphy Youth Player of the Year’ award before making his senior debut against Crystal Palace.
And amid speculation of Gomes’ head being turned by Barcelona and Manchester City, the teenager penned a senior contract with the club earlier this week.
Speaking to MUTV, Butt insisted that the youngster had a big future but reminded him that there was still some way to go.
“He has a big future, but he still has a long way to go,” he said. “It’s not a case of signing the contract and going straight into the first team.”
“To be honest, 90 per cent of the reason he made his debut were the circumstances regarding the following game [the Europa League final against Ajax], but it was a big pat on the back for what he’d done so far.
“He’s a bright lad and he knows he has got a long way to go to stamp his authority in the first team. He needs to get in the Reserves, settle in there, become a dominant player at Reserve-team level and step up.
“We try to push them as fast as we can now and stretch all the young lads. The youth team can become maybe a little too easy, so you push them on to the Reserves and see how it affects them in the transition period.
“We have the Under-19s in between and he can always drop down into the youth team when big games come along that are challenging for the club and for him.”
Gomes noted soon after replacing Wayne Rooney against Palace that the brief spell on the pitch at Old Trafford served as perfect motivation going forward.
And he has continued to impress at youth level, producing a series of scintillating, decisive displays in the UEFA Youth League and further asserting himself as the ‘Golden Boy’ of the latest generation of youngsters coming through under Butt.