New England U21 star Angel Gomes insists he never doubted himself after leaving Manchester United for Lille…
Angel Gomes insisted he had to forget every Manchester United heartbreak in order to succeed at Lille.
The 21-year-old has earned his first England Under-21 call-up for the Euro 2023 qualifiers with Slovenia and Andorra following on from his form in France.
He joined Lille in 2020 after leaving Old Trafford at the end of his contract and being loaned out to Boavista last season, where he scored six goals in 30 appearances.
Angel Gomes could make his England Under-21 debut after winning his first Young Lions cap
The 21-year-old won the Under-17 World Cup with England in 2017 while at Manchester United
Attacking midfielder Gomes has played eight times this season for Lille, last season’s Ligue 1 champions, and admitted he needed to leave United quickly.
“I wouldn’t say I doubted myself, but there were times when you got upset and thought back. There’s no time for that in football,” he said.
“You’re leaving your house and that was the hardest part, knowing you won’t be there anymore.
‘For me it was just putting it out of your mind and seeing the new challenge in front of you and tackling it.
Gomes joined United at age six and spent ten years in the club’s youth system
Gomes made his first-team debut for United in May 2017 when he replaced Wayne Rooney
“It’s always hard to leave the club where you grew up and grew up. There was a lot of pressure and a lot of negativity that came from that.
“It’s my job as a professional and young player to deal with that and to continue doing what I was raised for, which is playing football.
“My main focus was to show that on the pitch and leave the media and other things that come with it.”
Gomes was the first player born in the 21st century to play in the Premier League and was the youngest United player since Duncan Edwards in 1953 who made his debut when he played against Crystal Palace in May 2017 at the age of 16 and 263 days.
Gomes led England to victory at the 2017 Under-17 World Cup when England defeated Spain 5-2
He also won the Under-17 World Cup with England four years ago and has been called up by Under-21 boss Lee Carsley for Thursday’s group trip to Slovenia for Monday’s game in Andorra.
Gomes said: ‘The standards and the quality have always been there. I’ve played with these guys aged 15 or 16 and we’ve always had the drive to be in the position we’re in now.
“When I was around the guys, I always expected this to happen. This is what we have always predicted and this is what we wanted.
“To be back is great and to have the opportunity is something I’ve been working on for the past few years.”