Erik Ten Hag Challenges Teenage Superstar to go to the Next Level

Erik Ten Hag Challenges Teenage Superstar to go to the Next Level
Manchester, England, 1st March 2023. Alejandro Garnacho of Manchester United scores to make it 2-1 during the The FA Cup match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Picture credit should read: Darren Staples / Sportimage - Photo by Icon sport

Manchester United manager has delivered a rousing message to Alejandro Garnacho after the 18-year-old pun pen to paper on a new five-year deal at Old Trafford. The Argentinian was told by his manager that the contract was “deserved” but that he should view it as “just the start”. In a ceremony in front of his family, the Dutchman said:

“He is improving and he has improved a lot. That is why we are now here and he deserves this, a new contract. It is deserved by his performance and he has fought his way into the team. It was a huge step and he did it magnificently.

Now, I hope and I think this new contract is an inspiration and a motivation to do even better because it is a big step and today, you deserve it. This club needs players who can do incredible things. Winning is the most important and then we want to win in a certain way because we are playing in the Theatre of Dreams.

This club has to win trophies and you want to win trophies, because in the end a contract is great but at the end of a career, you want to collect trophies. You want to look back and say ‘I won the Premier League, I won the Champions League, I was at the World Cup’. I think he has the talent to do it but talent has to work because talent that does not work will not go far.”

A proud moment for Garnacho

After breaking into the first team earlier on in the season, the teenage sensation has proven to be a key part of Erik Ten Hag’s squad. Mainly operating from the bench to devastating effect, the Argentinian has netted four goals and provided five assists in 31 appearances for United.

The winger also already has a medal in his trophy cabinet after helping the Red Devils to win the Carabao Cup in February. Garnacho was an unused substitute on the day but still has a chance of playing at Wembley this season with United having an FA Cup final with Manchester City to look forward to at the start of June.

It may well be a game that will suit Garnacho, too. He came off the bench with his side 1-0 down to Manchester City in January and turned the game on its head. He got United back on the front foot and set up Marcus Rashford for the late winner after a beautiful turn inside the box that bamboozled Nathan Ake.

A swift return to the pitch is necessary

Manchester United have certainly missed Garnacho since he went off injured against Fulham in the FA Cup in March. He is now back in training and will be back to play the final few games of the season which will be a huge boost to Ten Hag, especially as he flirted with the idea of joining up with Argentina’s u20 squad for the u20 World Cup that starts this month.

With Garnacho available again, United will feel much more confident going into the cup final and in achieving their league goals of finishing inside the Premier League’s top four.

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