Angel Gomes can be “one hell of a player” for Manchester United, says Nicky Butt, with those at Old Trafford hoping that a solution can be found in an ongoing contract “dispute”.
A highly-rated 19-year-old academy graduate is yet to commit his long-term future to the Red Devils.
Gomes’ current deal is due to expire in the summer, meaning that he will be free to discuss a move elsewhere and leave United with little reward when it comes to financial compensation.
That situation can still be avoided, but an agreement needs to be reached quickly.
Butt is among those eager to see a compromise thrashed out, with United’s head of first-team development tipping Gomes for the top once he has fully matured.
The former Red Devils midfielder told the Manchester Evening News of a player whose progress he has monitored closely: "I've still got massive hopes for him.
"He’s got a contract dispute at the minute which all players have, and I don’t get involved in that. That’s what he does with his agent and the club. That’s personal.
"The boy trains every day and works hard and his talent is unbelievable. His work ethic, the way he approaches training every day, and the way he approaches games whether he’s playing for the reserve-team, the Under-19s, the first-team, is spot-on and he’s a very talented boy.
"He’s different to players like Scott [McTominay], because they are powerful and they can go and compete at that level. Angel is different. He has to get the right niche at the right time.
"If it all comes together then we've got one hell of a player on our hands."
United continue to look to their academy system for senior inspiration, but not every gamble pays off.
Butt admits that he expected Adnan Januzaj to be a superstar after breaking through at Old Trafford, but the Belgian struggled after making a bright start and is now in Spain with Real Sociedad.
The 1999 Treble winner said of the Belgium international: "Not many come back and bite you on the backside.
"They don’t all go on to be superstars and make great careers, but at 17, 18 or 19 you tend to get the right idea.
"I felt Adnan should have been a world superstar. I remember speaking to Steve Bruce in the players’ lounge before a game when Ryan [Giggs] took over [against Hull] and I was his assistant. I said, ‘Adnan is as good as him,’ and pointed at Ryan. He said ‘no chance’. After the game Brucey said he was top, top drawer.
"That was a disappointment. He’s gone on to have a career, so it’s hard to say. But I think he could have been a superstar if he’d had the mentality of Ryan."