A highlight of England’s style of play at this summer’s European Under-21 Championship went viral, with ‘first-stage midfielder’ Angel Gomes earning plaudits for his performances.
The Three Lions meet tournament favorites Spain in Saturday’s final after beating Israel 3-0 at the Adjarabet Arena in Batumi, Georgia.
Goals from Morgan Gibbs-White, Cole Palmer and substitute Cameron Archer gave Lee Carsley’s side a deserved spot in this weekend’s flagship event.
England have recorded victories against Portugal, Germany, Japan and the Czech Republic – and their loose play in the build-up continues to frustrate opponents.
TikTok user senezizreview2, who says he’s never seen an England team play this way, has compiled a series of clips from various matches in the competition this summer.
Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones demonstrated his superb attacking distribution throughout the video, while another key player from Carsley’s side, Emile Smith Rowe, plays an important role.
But it’s the performances of former Manchester United midfielder Angel Gomes that really caught people’s attention.
Indeed, many United fans regret the club’s treatment of youngster Gomes, who decided to leave Old Trafford in the summer of 2020 to find more first-team opportunities.
A year earlier, former United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly said Gomes wasn’t physically fit for the Premier League, but the 22-year-old proved his doubters wrong at Ligue 1 club Lille.
He also impressed on the international stage with his performances, which deeply impressed many.
Here’s how fans reacted to Gomes’ cameo appearance in the compilation.
One said: “It’s all Angel Gomes. There will be no Trainer Masters Class. You have a little genius in midfield,” while another wrote: “Of all the youngsters that have left, Angel Gomes hurt me the most.” The lad has talent galore. He always wanted to play from the depths, when he was young he was always two or three passes ahead of the game.”
A third commented: “Lee Carsley using Ángel Gomes as a deep midfielder is something I love because England coaches would not traditionally use a player like him that way. Technical midfielders have often been promoted further because of their strong focus on athletics. Physicality.”
A fourth wrote: “Angel Gomes seems finally to be on his feet, most of the breaks in the first period are due to him being just a wizard with the ball,” while a fifth added: “Angel Gomes is exactly the profile, that’s missing in midfield.” Options.”
serious talent. I always thought it was crazy why Man Utd didn’t give him a chance! Absolutely the boss in England’s midfield.
I would be happy if we would take care of him… pic.twitter.com/xlaCOv5Hkw
— Sam (@Sam6WHU) July 6, 2023
Last year, Gomes spoke to SPORTbible about his progress since joining Lille.
“I think physically I’m on a different level than at United,” he said. “I’ve played a lot of games now, so I think I can do it in terms of the demands of professional football.” I’ll be able to do in any league in the world. I strive to go anywhere and be up to the challenge.”
Gomes’ progress was rewarded in October 2021 when he was called up for the England Under-21 team for the first time. He knows how important his decision to leave Manchester was in Lee Carsley’s decision to bring him into the national team.
“It means a lot to me personally,” Gomes said when he was called up. “With the talent that we have in this country and in my age group, to be selected and to belong is huge.”
He added: “I think it helped to get more first-team chances at Lille. In my opinion, to be anywhere you have to play. The move helped me enormously. If you look at the players that are called up, they’re all playing and they’re all doing well. That was the only way I could keep up.”