Erik ten Hag has perfect chance to grant Alejandro Garnacho’s Manchester United demand.

December 23, 2022

Alejandro Garnacho scored a stoppage-time winner in Man United’s last Premier League game before the World Cup.

Erik ten Hag has the perfect chance to adhere to Alejandro Garnacho’s request for a run of games when Manchester United return to Premier League action after Christmas.

Garnacho was named in Ten Hag’s starting XI for United’s 2-0 win over Burnley in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night. The 18-year-old looked lively in the first-half, eventually being replaced by Antony just before the hour mark.

Although he would have hoped to be on the scoresheet – and even had a great chance to find the net inside the first 10 minutes – Garnacho once again proved how much of a handful he can be for the opposition’s defence. His raw talent and potential is clear to see whenever he steps on the pitch, with fans hoping he can continue to thrive and develop further at Old Trafford.

Being able to get minutes as a teenager in the Premier League is no easy task. Last term, United gave the second highest game time to those under the age of 20, with their youngsters playing a total of 1,527 minutes across the season. Garnacho has so far mustered a total of 80 minutes under Ten Hag in the English top flight – spread across three appearances against Brighton, Aston Villa and Fulham.

The Argentine was the hero at Craven Cottage for United last month, as the winger’s stoppage-time winner sent the Reds into the World Cup break on a high. Although more than a month has now passed from that goal, Ten hag opted to start Garnacho against Burnley ahead of Antony for their Carabao Cup tie.

The Brazilian of course featured in the World Cup and did not have a month of rest from competitive football compared to his fellow South American – yet there is no denying how pleased Garnacho would have been to have got the nod from his manager that he had made the first-team.

Ten Hag is already well aware that his tricky winger is desperate the opportunity to show what he can do when given the chance to register a run of games. After being named as United’s player of the month for November, Garnacho made his feelings clear in his pursuit of further minutes.

He told club media: “Erik Ten Hag is a very good manager and, above all, he’s a great person. He always pays very close attention to us all, and helps us a great deal, especially the young players.

“I’ve had to keep working hard until that moment came where I was given my opportunity. For the moment, I’m making the most of the opportunities he’s giving me.

“I don’t want to take a backward step from here, I’d like to appear regularly in the team and keep going in the same way.”

With the game against Nottingham Forest on December 28 signalling the return to Premier League action for the Reds, Ten Hag has a difficult choice to make. Should Antony be fit enough to start the match, he may have to opt to bring Garnacho off the bench, as he did against Fulham and hope he can make an impact if needed.

However, the youngster will be chomping at the bit to start successive games for the club in his attempt to show his manager that he is ready for regular first team action. Whether or not the winger will be granted his wish is yet to be seen, with all eyes set to be on Ten Hag’s team sheet come Tuesday.