Manchester United youngster Angel Gomes was proud to make his debut, and follow in the footsteps of Duncan Edwards against Crystal Palace.
The 16-year-old replaced Wayne Rooney in the 88th minute of Sunday’s 2-0 home win over Crystal Palace, making his debut for the club.
As well as becoming the first Premier League player to be born in the year 2000, Gomes – a cousin of former United winger Nani – was the youngest to represent the club since Edwards’ debut in 1953.
Gomes told MUTV: ‘Duncan Edwards was a great player and a United legend.
‘He started playing when he was young and it is an honour to be the youngest since him.’
Gomes had a roller coaster week, being named the youngest-ever winner of United’s Youth Team Player of the Year, before being drafted in by Jose Mourinho for the squad to face Palace.
He added: ‘Obviously, it’s a dream come true. I have been here since the age of six working my way up and it’s what everyone dreams about.
‘I just want to thank the manager for putting me on the bench and playing me, and all the staff back at the club and everyone who has helped me.
‘I’m from Manchester, Salford, and it’s literally down the road. It’s just unbelievable.
‘It happened so quickly, really, from Thursday [getting the award] to Sunday, training on Friday and making an impression in Saturday’s training before being named on the bench and coming on.
‘My family were in the crowd. I was fortunate to get 10 tickets for all my family and I saw them in the corner when I was warming up and gave them a little thumbs-up. It was amazing.
‘I felt the players made it easy for me really. Before coming on, I was speaking to Michael Carrick about how to get into the pockets and stuff and he helped me out a lot when I came on.
‘He just kept trying to pass to me so I was happy and all the lads supported me and helped me, telling me what to do so I thank them for that.’
The attacking midfielder has been tipped as a future star, with United’s U23 coach Nicky Butt describing his talent as ‘ridiculous’.
Asked about next season, Gomes added: ‘I don’t know what the future plans are, but I just want to continue playing, whether it’s in the U18s or U23s.
‘I just want to stay with the good habits and carry on pushing really. Who knows.’
– This story originally appeared on FourFourTwo.co.za
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