Angel Gomes picked up Manchester United’s Youth Team Player of the Year… but what do we know about the Nani’s 16-year-old cousin?

Thursday night saw highly-rated attacking midfielder Angel Gomes pick up Manchester United’s Youth Team Player of the Year award.

The 16-year-old is the cousin of former Old Trafford star Nani, and both the Portuguese star and United reserve coach Nicky Butt have heaped praise on Gomes’ talented shoulders in the past.

Here’s everything you need to know about United’s next big thing…

Signed as a 13-year-old, Gomes has always played above his age group at United, making his much-anticipated debut for the Under 18s when he was just 14.

He comes from a footballing family – his father was a journeyman who played all over the world, his older brother was also on United’s books… oh, and his cousin is Luis Nani, who made 230 appearances for the club over a hugely successful eight years.

This week is perhaps the biggest of Gomes’ career as he catapults himself into the public’s consciousness, picking up a prestigious trophy at the club’s end-of-season awards night.

He is the Jimmy Murphy Youth Team Player of the Year, becoming the first 16-year-old to win it in the award’s 27-year history. Impressed yet?

Previous winners are Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, so he certainly has big boots to fill.

‘It’s a dream come true,’ Gomes told MUTV on the night. ‘Being a young age, it’s things like this you wish for. All the hard work you put in at the training ground – this is the end result.’

He is a leader on the pitch as well as a goalscorer; 12 goals in 19 starts for the academy has helped him become captain of England Under 17s. If it were not for injury, he would be at the European Championship finals right now.

Nani took to Instagram on Thursday evening to share his pride – ‘Congratulations, my kid, you’re on the right track!’ – but it is an older picture of he and Gomes that is perhaps the most impressive.

Standing at the Carrington training ground, a smile pinned to his face, a very young Gomes stands between Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo.

He is United through and through, and next season could be even bigger for him. The 16-year-old is eligible for another season in the youth team, but with Jose Mourinho in attendance on Thursday, there is certainly a conversation to be held.

He may be ready for a loan spell away from Old Trafford, a chance to gain first-team minutes in a competitive environment. Or perhaps he will join Mourinho’s first-team for a training session or two.

HISTORY-MAKER

Gomes became the youngest ever winner of the Jimmy Murphy Youth Team Player of the Year award on Thursday. Here are the previous youngest recipients…

Angel Gomes (2017) – 16 yrs 9 months

Mats Daehli (2012) – 17 yrs 2 months

Will Keane (2010) – 17 yrs 4 months

Phil Neville (1994) – 17 yrs 4 months

Axel Tuanzebe (2015) – 17 yrs 6 months

Ryan Giggs (1991) – 17 yrs 6 months

It is still early days, with plenty of hurdles still to face, but Gomes could well be the club’s next Marcus Rashford.

Many have said he does not have the stature to make it at the highest level. He is too short and will get pushed off the ball.

In response, Gomes posted a picture of perhaps the greatest ever – Lionel Messi. ‘Too small to play, they said… the rest is history.’ That’s that settled, then.

‘It’s ridiculous,’ Nicky Butt said of Gomes’ talent. ‘I look at the kids and they’re miles better than I was at their age – technically. Angel Gomes is someone we’ve got massive hopes for.’

Over to you, Angel. The stage is set.

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