Alejandro Garnacho has to fight for a starting spot at Manchester United, says Erik ten Hag. The manager praised the 18-year-old for scoring a late goal against Wolves in his first game back from injury.
Garnacho came off the bench in the 81st minute and sealed United’s 2-0 victory with a superb strike. He had been sidelined for 55 days with an ankle problem he picked up in the 0-0 draw with Southampton on March 19. Since then, he has signed a new five-year deal with United. Garnacho has impressed in his debut season at United, scoring five goals in total. He only made his first appearance for the club on April 28 last year.
“Everyone saw Garna’s quality, because he scored a fantastic goal,” Ten Hag said of Garnacho’s performance. “He entered the game and he made a difference. He did almost everything right and that will boost his confidence and that is good for the rest of the season. He is back, he is confident and he can have an impact.
“One of the aspects for the biggest talent is that they are mature. First, they take responsibility and second, they are mature. To show their skills, they have confidence that they can dominate opponents. And again he did it.
“He had a big impact in many games either when he’s starting or coming on. He’s ready, straight into the game and that is so important for the squad that you can bring young players and I’m happy you can bring young players. Hopefully, he can progress so fast he can compete for a starting XI position because that is his next challenge.
“He is showing when you score some winners – Fulham – the assist against City and now the second goal, he is showing some things. Also sometimes he lacks defensive transition and pressing. He has to step up, when you are going into an action or keep the ball, so decisions. But when you see all over he is a huge talent and he is brave.
“Decisions, making decisions, scanning situations, when to go into one-on-ones, get behind, when to go for goal, when to give the extra pass or when to give the assist rather than to go for own success. Decisions like that make a good player a top player, that is the difference.
“It shows that you can go that way and that pathway is open for young players in United. If you work in the right way, when you work hard, we can guide you to go get into the team.
“But in the end it is about the player. He has to invest and have a plan to do it.”