To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK

Erik ten Hag should avoid last years Manchester United mistake with Alejandro Garnacho this season

Cain Smith

Published 
| Last updated 

Erik ten Hag should avoid last years Manchester United mistake with Alejandro Garnacho this season

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Alejandro Garnacho is the latest star from the Manchester United academy, but Erik ten Hag should look to avoid the mistake the happened at the club last season in a similar situation.

The FA Youth Cup star scored twice in the final last term in order to return the cup back to Old Trafford for the first time since 2011. He added five goals and three assists in the build-up to the final at the Theatre of Dreams.

With almost 70,000 in the stadium, and many watching at home, Garnacho made a huge impact on the United fanbase with that performance and has taken strides since then.

Alejandro Garnacho lifting the FA Youth Cup after netting twice in the final vs Nottingham Forest (Alamy)
Alejandro Garnacho lifting the FA Youth Cup after netting twice in the final vs Nottingham Forest (Alamy)

After making his first-team debut against Chelsea in April, Garnacho gave a stellar showing with Argentina's under-19s side in a summer tournament. He was training with their first-team squad, alongside Lionel Messi and co, months earlier too.

Erik ten Hag had the 17-year-old join his squad on the pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia. Whilst he did not appear on the pitch, the youngster was able to make a very good impression against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford.

With Marcus Rashford poor opening day performance, we're starting to see suggestions that Garnacho should be given the spot on the left-wing. But we should remember to not put hopes on a raw, unproven talent - especially in a side still under major transition like United.

In 2021/22, we saw Anthony Elanga with a lot of responsibility on his shoulders once Ralf Rangnick took the reigns on a part-time basis.

A goal against Atletico Madrid and a catch chant made by the United faithful. It was all going good for the winger until the realisation for supporters came in that he wasn't ready to be a regular starter for the club.

Loading…

Then came the inevitable criticism for the player that should've never been relied on in the first place.

You wouldn't find many United fans now who would want him involved this season, despite so many being engulfed by the fact that he wasn't the out-of-form Marcus Rashford just six months ago.

It appears that similar things are happening with new boy Garnacho.

He's fresh, talented and extremely confident for his age. The teenager could be a very good player for United in the future, but there are minimal positives to throwing him into the deep end in the second game of the season.

United's depth in their attacking positions is not good enough, which means opportunities will likely come for Garnacho throughout the campaign.

The loss at the weekend to Brighton showed that United's side still needs adjusting to Ten Hag's style. You want the Argentine to begin to feature more when those principles are already in motion for the Reds.

Supporters' desire for him to come into the side is largely due to frustrations with one player who knows all about having too much weight on his shoulders at such a young age.

Marcus Rashford in his debut campaign for Manchester United during 2015/16 (Alamy)
Marcus Rashford in his debut campaign for Manchester United during 2015/16 (Alamy)

However, they will not be afraid to have those exact same frustrations once it's apparent that Garnacho is not at all ready for the role they'd like him to play at the club.

Ultimately, blame should be placed with the higher-ups in the club for not signing more experienced players to compete in the frontline. With five substitutions available in Premier League fixtures this season, it would be a wise plan for Ten Hag to utilise him as a late substitute who can use his skill and pace against tired legs.

Yet, too much responsibility too soon could be a recipe for disaster and Elanga's experiences has shown that it doesn't take too long for fans to turn on youngsters who aren't ready for the step up, even if there are not many different options.

Garnacho is a wonderful talent and could play a part in the campaign already in motion. Ten Hag must manage him well, though, with the expectations currently sky-high for the 17-year-old in a season where there will be tough times for the team.

Topics: Manchester United, Anthony Elanga, Football, Brentford, Premier League, Marcus Rashford, Erik Ten Hag

Cain Smith
More like this

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Football

Lionel Messi's cameo in 3-0 Jamaica was breathtakingly brilliant, featured two stunning goals

a minute ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

'David Beckham wasn't world class and wouldn't get into England's best XI'

16 hours ago