Alejandro Garnacho may finally get his shot in the Premier League with Manchester United.
Alejandro Garnacho earned his long-awaited chance to start his first Manchester United game against Sheriff Tiraspol.
Garnacho was a lively opponent, dribbling past opponents, getting to the touchline, and taking risks. In the last third, he provided the vigor that United required.
Garnacho will want more now that he has had a taste of first-team action. The adolescent should now be evaluated for Premier League action as well.
The Europa League game indicated that, at the age of 18, he belongs at this level, and Erik ten Hag will hopefully agree.
Garnacho has an explosiveness to his game which Jadon Sancho has not demonstrated this season. While the former Dortmund star has made valuable contributions, he has played it too safe and been reluctant to take players on.
If it can apply on a Thursday night Europa League game, the same reasoning applies to a Premier League game too.
‘If you are good enough, you are old enough is the doctrine United has applied to the club’s youngsters over the years, rarely afraid to give chances to the very best talents.
Garnacho fits this category. Last season he scored 19 goals in all competitions at the youth level across under-18, under-19, and under-21 competitions.
The highlight of this was the FA Youth Cup, in which he finished as the top scorer and led United to win the trophy.
These performances led to a first-team call-up and debut under Ralf Rangnick, and Erik ten Hag has kept him on as part of the first team, deservedly so.
After staying patient all season, with just a small handful of substitute appearances, Garnacho got his chance in the Europa League last night.
Now a first-team start in the Premier League will beckon too. Garnacho’s call shows he has overtaken Anthony Elanga in the pecking order, and the pressure is really on Jadon Sancho.
With games remaining in the league against West Ham, Aston Villa, and Fulham, before the World Cup break, it’s time for Garnacho to get a further opportunity.
The start against Sheriff need not be a one-off. It should be the first of many, possibly continuing this weekend.