Man United FC

Not a Good Decision – Erik ten Hag may be forced to make an unpopular Alejandro Garnacho decision at Manchester United

In the final encounter before the World Cup, the Manchester United teenager scored a stunning winner at Fulham.

After having the spotlight taken from him by teasers of Cristiano Ronaldo’s explosive interview being released only hours after Manchester United’s 2-1 away win at Fulham, the club has rightfully attempted to redirect some of it back to Alejandro Garnacho.

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He was duly named the club’s Player of the Month for November. The 18-year-old made his full senior debut against FC Sheriff last month and has two goals and two assists in three weeks.

One of his goals was a stoppage-time winner against Fulham, his first in the Premier League. Just days after his amazing effort against Aston Villa, his performance coming off the bench in the second half garnered him tremendous plaudits from teammates and analysts.

Garnacho came off the bench to provide two assists in the 4-2 Carabao Cup victory after being defeated 3-1 by Villans in his maiden league start the previous Sunday.

In the defeat, the Argentine showed moments of brilliance but was not as efficient as Erik ten Hag would have liked. The same can be said regarding his debut with Real Sociedad, where he scored his first senior goal.

His finish was flawless, but he couldn’t quite make the difference to find that crucial second. Ten Hag’s cutting edge was evident against Fulham, and as a result, he may have cemented his best role in the club this season.

As shown against Aston Villa and Fulham, the teenager’s vivacious assets appear to function best against slow and fatigued legs. He’s a huge threat off the bench and will be crucial for United for the rest of the season.

Fans will be pleading with Ten Hag to start Garnacho, but he is unlikely to bench Marcus Rashford or Antony. That is not to say he will never play, as he will almost certainly be named in United’s post-World Cup League Cup match against Burnley.

And if Rashford or Antony are injured, Garnacho may be called up – he’s not only a bench player. However, his super-sub role will be consistent for his development.

Garnacho’s pre-season attitude troubles have been noticed, and Ten Hag understands that giving him too much too soon might be detrimental. Youngsters will always want more minutes, which is what the manager wants, but Garnacho should be content if that is the position he will play under the Red’s management.

With five substitutes available from now on, he should get some playing time, especially given the form of Jadon Sancho and Anthony Elanga. He is currently a first-team regular, which is an accomplishment for someone his age.

It’s critical that he gets going in the proper direction. If he gets it right, he may be a reliable starter for years to come.

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