‘A full-back’s nightmare’ – What’s been said about Alejandro Garnacho
Despite only being 17 years old, Manchester United’s Alejandro Garnacho is already being tipped for a big future.
Signed from Atletico Madrid in 2020, Garnacho has become United’s biggest young name and has enjoyed an outstanding 2021-22.
He helped them win the FA Youth Cup and was the recipient of the club’s prestigious Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award.
As a result of his progress, the teenager made his debut for the senior side against Chelsea in the Premier League. He has been training alongside the first team for some months. Another senior appearance should be on the horizon soon.
There are strong rumours he could be in line for a new contract as well and the Argentine-Spanish winger was reportedly a subject of conversation in one of Erik ten Hag’s first meetings as United boss.
Whether that was to determine a suitable loan destination for him or to discuss how to further the development of the winger within the club next season is unknown, but what does seem certain is that the Madrid-born attacker is now part of the future planning at Old Trafford.
We’ve taken a look at what people have been saying about United’s next wonderkid.
“Garnacho has been training with us [the first team] for the last two weeks and I know that he is one of the most promising players,” United’s interim manager Rangnick told the club’s website at the start of April 2022.
“Still only 17, but a player that hopefully if he keeps his feet on the ground. If he keeps trying to get better every day, he will not only be sitting on the bench but there is every chance he will be playing for this club.”
– “Alejandro Garnacho is a very talented gifted player,” he told Stadium Astro.
“He has to work hard and get physically stronger but technically on the ball he’s been training with us for the past month and you can see with every training session he’s getting better.”
Alejandro Garnacho wraps things up for United!
The truth 🔥 pic.twitter.com/LwOuU7Iyh7
— utdreport Academy (@utdreportAcad) May 11, 2022
“He’s a talented boy. I think some of his performances have caught the eye. He’s one of many talented boys we’ve got,” United’s Head of Academy Cox said in March after the winger was called up from the Argentina national team.
“We’ve been in constant dialogue with him about what he might do. This is pretty fresh news. He’s yet to make a decision. I know he’s proud of his heritage, he’s proud of both countries. I think he’s honoured that both countries have an interest in him.
“And, really, the take-home message for me is ‘you’re doing OK if you’ve got two countries that are interested in selecting you’.”
– Cox was also full of praise for the youngster when he announced that he had been selected as the winner of the prestigious Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award.
“Alejandro has had a fantastic season and really deserves this recognition,” Cox said.
“There have been a number of Under-18s players who have performed exceptionally well throughout the year. Reaching an FA Youth Cup final is a fantastic achievement, so this was not an easy decision to make.
“Alejandro has shown great determination from the day that he arrived here from Spain, in the middle of a pandemic. He has adapted extremely well to life in Manchester and continues to improve on the pitch every day.
“Making his first-team debut last month was the culmination of a great deal of hard work from Alejandro himself, his family and a dedicated group of academy staff. The call-up that he received from Argentina is another fantastic indicator of the progress he has made this season.
“He remains grounded considering all that he has achieved this year and we know that he will continue to grow within our youth development system.”
“That boy could be in any stadium in the world and he wouldn’t care,” United Under-18s manager Binnion said after Garnacho’s FA Youth Cup Final performance.
“That’s his make-up. A few of them are like that and that’s why they are going to have good careers.
“This football club is remarkable at that. It’s the best in the world at that. We have to keep that going, we have a responsibility to keep that going – the pipeline. It’s nice to give the fans a bit of something because they’re different class.”
– “He comes on the other night [against Chelsea] and doesn’t touch the ball, but the reception he gets for two minutes, I don’t think you get that at other clubs,” he told the Manchester Evening News.
“It is the culmination of years and years of work. He has done something that most people will never do in their lifetime and he will go on and get better and better.
“Literally, a month ago he was part of this group and now he is part of the first-team squad. It is inspirational because there are boys in the group who feel they are going to be better than him and you have to have that belief in yourself as a player.”
“He’s [Garnacho] a top player. A very tricky winger and he’s our outlet sometimes,” United Under-18s captain told the Manchester Evening News in February 2022.
“If we can’t get out, we can play it to him and he’s got very good feet and he gets out of tight situations, which helps us as a team as it gets us up the pitch and we can squeeze.”
“He’s popped up with another great moment to send the boys through,” the former United midfielder told MUTV after Garnacho scored a late winner against Leicester in the FA Youth Cup.
“He’s a moments man, he produces moments when you need it. I’m really impressed with him with each game.”
“That’s ridiculous play from him [Garnacho],” former United youth product Brandy said on MUTV after Garnacho scored against Everton in the fifth round of the Youth Cup.
“It looks like the first minute of a game, showing no tiredness, and composure when he gets in the box.
“I’m happy for him. He was Man of the Match, him or Kobbie Mainoo.”
– “He’s a full-back’s nightmare, can go either side, cut inside, he makes it difficult for defenders all game,” Brandy added after the sem-final win over Wolves. “He is a great talent with a very bright future.”
– “He kept showing for the ball,” Brandy said after the win over Nottingham Forest. “He’s got a third, fourth, fifth gear when defender don’t expect it.
“He’s got a big future in football, if he does everything right he’s got a very good chance.”
“The 17-year-old Argentine-Spanish forward is riding the crest of a wave at the moment and taking all the inspiration he can from arguably the two greatest players of all time,” Telegraph journalist Ducker wrote in an article about Garnacho.
“There are not many teenagers who get to lean on Ronaldo and Lionel Messi but Garnacho has been up, close and personal with both during a whirlwind past few months.
“Garnacho has surpassed expectations over the past 12 months, during which time he has matured significantly on and off the pitch and followed in the footsteps of Marcus Rashford, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes by landing the prestigious Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award.”
-FA Youth Cup CHAMPIONS!🥇
-Top scorer of the competition⚽️
-Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award💫
-MAKING HISTORY IN MANCHESTER UNITED!!🏆🏆 pic.twitter.com/iaBjMpJyRM
— Alejandro Garnacho (@agarnacho7) May 12, 2022
“He’s been doing really well, he’s done well in the Youth Cup,” United Under-23s manager Wood has said.
“Some of the games with the 23s have been challenging for him. He’s coming up against more physical players, faster players and stronger players, that’s what is coming towards him, he’s not going to play Under-18s forever.
“When he’s running at players he’s a threat. He’s the type of player who gets the crowd excited, he’s a dribbler, he likes to run at players, but he’s got a lot of improving and developing to do.”