Manchester United midfielder Angel Gomes had his eye caught by the grace and vision of one Barcelona’s greatest ever players, Andres Iniesta.
Gomes, 19, has named Iniesta as the player he tries to emulate most while on the pitch — not that he’s seen much game time with the seniors this term.
Spanish legend Iniesta, who is currently playing in Japan for Vissel Kobe at the age of 36, was part of the formidable Barça side which swept United away in the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals.
Gomes was 10-years-old when the 2011 final was played and he told the official Man Utd website: “In terms of who I model parts of my game on, I’d say [Andres] Iniesta. He was always one of my idols.
“[He was] a big player I watched while growing up. [He played] in similar positions as me and I’ve always tried modelling my game on Iniesta.”
Gomes finds himself in the middle of a contract saga at the moment, but there has been leaks on social media that he’s finally agreed on a new contract at the club. Those leaks seem suspicious right now with no major outlet able to back them up as of yet.
But the fact United have posted an interview with the young midfielder today may suggest the teenager has put pen to paper.
The 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup-winner has been subject of interest from Premier League rivals Chelsea. Although he has yet to break into the first-team, it would be a crazy call to allow him join the Blues.
Why would he want to go there anyway? They hardly have a great reputation for giving youngsters game time in the first-team — unless they have no other choice, like when the transfer ban hung over their head.
Gomes also revealed his three main idols during his youth career — naming Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and Carlos Tevez as three former United players who inspired him.
“When I was growing up at United, Nani had a big influence on me and when I was around eight years old, when I used to go and watch, it was that time when we had a great season and [we had Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Carlos] Tevez,” he said.
“All those players inspired me when I was growing up.”