Former Manchester United youth coach Paul McGuinness believes Angel Gomes has the potential to become a player of similar quality to Barcelona icon Andres Iniesta or Man City string-puller David Silva.
Gomes became the first player born after the turn of the century to feature in the Premier League when he made his United debut as a late substitute in Sunday's 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.
McGuinness worked with some of the Red Devils' finest during his 23 years at Old Trafford – including the famous Class of '92 – and says the 16-year-old will be able to cut it amongst the world's best.
“He’s a real talent. If he was Brazilian, people would be raving about him and, if he was six inches taller, people would be going mad,” the ex-Utd coach told Sky Sports News.
“I suppose that’s our country. People doubt players if they’re short in stature but no-one is doubting Andres Iniesta or David Silva. He’s got the potential to be that type of player and, in England, you just don’t get many players like that.
“If you play him with better players, he’ll get better himself and create chances for them. You don’t want to build him up too soon but I’m sure they’ll handle all that at United.”
United's injury issues have forced Jose Mourinho's hand into using more and more young players as the season has progressed, with four youngsters making their first Premier League starts against Palace.
Joel Pereira, Demetri Mitchell, Scott McTominay and Josh Harrop all lined up against the Eagles in what ended in victory for United, with the last named finding the net in a win to wrap up an underwhelming league campaign on a high note and give fans a sneak peek at the club's future.
“It was a fantastic achievement for the players and the academy to have all those players on the pitch at once,” McGuinness added. “They’ve beaten a full-strength Crystal Palace team, so they’ve shown great potential there.
“What a fantastic start for Josh Harrop. He is the type that makes things happen and he certainly did that on his debut, scoring a fantastic goal. He’s that type of instinctive player that can open up a defence and make something happen.
“And Scott McTominay, a year or so ago, was six inches smaller. He’s had a massive growth spurt and is now showing real potential.”