‘When I saw you play I thought you where Lionel Messi’s Brother. You are a great player now because of what I told you back then. Get your bags ready we are going back to Old Trafford- Ex- Manchester United starlet Angel Gomes reveals brutal Jose Mourinho put down that left him on verge of tears but made him a great players as he set to return back to Old Trafford with Jose.

On Thursday, May 18, he made history by becoming the youngest recipient of Manchester United’s esteemed Jimmy Murphy Youth Team Player of the Year award – an honor previously bestowed upon legends like Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, and Marcus Rashford. Just a day later, Jose Mourinho extended a personal invitation for him to train with the first-team squad.

Impressed by his remarkable talent in such a brief period, Mourinho granted Gomes his Premier League debut at the age of 16 years and 263 days. Substituting Wayne Rooney in the 88th minute against Crystal Palace at an electrifying Old Trafford, the teenager etched his name in the annals of club history, becoming the youngest player to represent United since Duncan Edwards.

Reflecting on the unforgettable moment, Gomes shares, “To step onto that pitch at 16, then return to my neighborhood and see familiar faces I grew up with—it was surreal. Even now, I still find myself in awe. It was an extraordinary experience.

“Despite the challenges during Mourinho’s tenure at Manchester United, it’s often overlooked that he introduced six academy graduates to first-team action. While polarizing, Mourinho played a pivotal role in Gomes’ journey. “No one has asked me about Mourinho before, so I’ve never had the chance to speak about him,” Gomes reflects. “Now, with maturity, I realize his significance.

He handed me my debut, and for that, I am immensely grateful.”Following his Premier League debut, Gomes swiftly found himself included in matchday squads for various cup fixtures. On one occasion, however, he encountered a memorable “tongue-lashing” from Mourinho, which left him visibly shaken. Recounting the incident, Gomes reveals, “I’ve never shared this story, but once, during a cup game with the first team after playing for the U21s, Mourinho addressed the squad. He jokingly singled me out, saying, ‘I am fed up with you!’ Initially, I thought it was banter, but then he critiqued my performance from the previous day. I was stunned. I felt like he despised me.”Looking back on the incident, Gomes offers a mature perspective. “With time, I understood his intentions,” he reflects. “Mourinho sought excellence and aimed to instill discipline akin to a first-team player. It was a wake-up call—a reminder that this wasn’t youth football.

Now, I comprehend his approach better. Despite the initial shock, I’d welcome the opportunity to play under him again.”While Gomes admits to losing touch with Mourinho, he fondly recalls the manager’s passionate demeanor, evident in his random FaceTime calls to players. “He’s incredibly passionate, and that resonates with his players,” Gomes notes. “He genuinely cares. I recall Marcus and Jesse sharing stories of receiving impromptu calls from him. It just underscores his true character.”

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