Some players are destined for greatness. Alejandro Garnacho is one of them, but the rising Manchester United star had to get out of his own way first.
Over the last three weeks, the 18-year-old has impressed for the Red Devils. He made his debut for the starting 11 and scored his first goal. Garnacho was the difference in the six-goal thriller, the Carabao Cup tie against Aston Villa. His contribution to United’s 4-2 win was two assists off the bench.
Managing an immense talent is no mean feat, especially a young one. Erik ten Hag measures his praise and tutorship of the starlet. The United gaffer also admitted that the teenager hasn’t always been in his good books (via The Daily Mail).
Bruno Fernandes echoed these sentiments saying the rising star “didn’t have the best attitude” during their preseason tour. The Portuguese playmaker said this after young Garnacho scored an impressive goal against Real Sociedad in the Europa League at San Sebastian.
Tough love from ten Hag
Later, it was revealed that Garnacho’s crime was being late for two team meetings on the trip to Bangkok and Australia. The misconduct earned the youngster the painful experience of watching United from the sidelines for the four-game tour.
Boss Ten Hag took another opportunity to make sure Garnacho stayed grounded. After a stellar performance against Villa, the United manager warned, “It depends on his approach, his attitude.’
He said, ‘When he keeps working then, yes, it is possible [for him to play more]. He wants to improve every day. He has to do the right things in his lifestyle. He has the capability.’
Taking matter into his own hands
To his credit, Garnacho has turned over a new leaf since his misdemeanours on tour. The gifted no.49 enlisted the help of United’s fitness staff, requesting a personalised gym programme.
Sources say his physique has already begun to reap the rewards. Moreover, he is also working with a nutritionist and becoming fluent in English due to regular language lessons.
A great support system
Ten Hag is no stranger to developing young talent. Keeping the young man grounded with a good head on his shoulders will be challenging with all the hype surrounding Garnacho.
Fortunately, both Ten Hag and Garnacho have a reliable support system in Garnacho’s mother, father, and younger brother.
His family has joined him in England for off-the-pitch support, and on the pitch, the likes of Lisandro Martinez are keeping close watch over the rising star.
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