Erik ten Hag assesses Alejandro Garnacho’s development and desire
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has lauded Alejandro Garnacho’s desire and weighed in on his development in the first-team.
The Argentinian received criticism following United’s midweek clash with Leeds at Old Trafford. He started the match in the absence of the injured Antony and whilst it wasn’t his best performance in red, it’s important to remember that Garnacho is just 18 years old, and is already further ahead in his skillset and ability than most players his age.
His contributions for United in such short cameos have been crucial, namely his injury-time winner to secure all three points against Fulham in November. The teenager already has three goals and six assists to his name in all competitions – outstanding numbers for a breakout season in the top flight.
Ten Hag on Garnacho
The manager addressed questions from the media in his pre-match press conference ahead of United’s trip to Elland Road on Sunday and was probed on the subject of Garnacho.
Here’s what he had to say, via MUTV.
Q. “Erik you said the way Alejandro Garnacho’s development has been unexpected, how would you describe the way he has played since the World Cup?”
“I think he is doing quite well, he is having an impact. I think he is a threat as we saw yesterday, he had good actions, he was lively, he created great chances but he had to score. Finally it is about that, that you have an effect. As a striker, you have to be on that list, the scoring list, the assist list, the key action list. Of course, we expect the other stuff, the base stuff is also important if you can’t do the extra, you have to do that. That is your base function, but as a Man United player we expect you to have an impact, to influence the score, the result, to have a positive influence on the game by scoring goals and having assists.”
Q. “He seemed frustrated when he came off last night as he seemed to throw his hands up? Did you notice that?”
Q. “He also did the same against Palace when he came off. I mean he is only 18, does he need to calm down a bit and understand these are decisions you have to make?”
“I don’t think it is that he doesn’t understand the decision. He’s quite emotional, that is his strength that he is bringing in the game. He wants to win, he wants to play football and doesn’t want to miss any minutes. I think that is a good thing. He is totally convinced about himself, that’s a good thing. You need that under the biggest stress factors that you have to perform, and he is doing [that]. He is contributing to the end but he accepts the decision. The team is always above everything and he accepts that. I think when he is coming off that emotion, the frustration is not off that he is not accepting it.”
Q. “But you’ve always praised his attitude and the way he tries things in the game, which can always make a difference in the game?”
“I think all the players have to be brave and to try as long as it’s in the interest of the team. That is what he is doing quite well because he is taking players on, he outplays them, he is creating chances. But yesterday, he should have scored.”
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