Manchester United have a new hero, and his name is Alejandro Garnacho. The 18-year-old was the match-winner as the Red Devils dug deep to record a 2-1 victory in the Premier League against Fulham on Sunday.
Eric ten Hag’s side endured a difficult evening in West London as a well-motivated Fulham team gave them a run for their money.
Despite taking an early lead through Christian Eriksen, United failed to kill off the game, thanks to a combination of wasted chances upfront and the Cottagers’ own defensive resolve.
The Red Devils were eventually made to pay for their lack of ruthlessness as Daniel James, facing his former club, restored parity for Fulham following a quick counter-attacking move. The Welshman prodded the ball home from close range after Tyrell Malacia was caught out of position in a superb counter-attack from the London-based side.
In the end, however, United won the game, with substitute Garnacho scoring in the 93rd minute to seal all three points for the visitors.
It’s the young Argentine’s second senior goal, having also netted the winner against Real Sociedad in United’s ultimate Europa League group game last week.
Erik ten Hag heaps praise on Alejandro Garnacho following win again Fulham
Garnacho may just be 18, but he’s shown enough character to suggest he could become a Manchester United great. Like the many academy products that have come through the ranks, Alejandro Garnacho represents a continuation of that production line under Ten Hag.
Even more impressive is the fact that he appears to have consistency in his game. In every cameo appearance he has made, he has ended up making an impact. In midweek, he provided two assists in the Red Devils’ 4-2 win over Aston Villa in the EFL Cup, and he can only get better from here.
“He is fantastic,” Ten Hag said, as quoted by The Mirror, following Garnacho’s match-winning exploits against Fulham on Sunday.
“First, he shows the mentality you need. Under stress, he’s performing, he’s coming in, he has an impact, he has the belief. Twice in three, four days, so that is really good. I’m really happy that we can bring a young player up, and it shows that when players deserve it, they get their chances. That is the first one, but we have to bring more. He’s great. I like that he has a big belief, and that’s great to work with. He likes football. He’s a real pleasure.”
Jadon Sancho’s inconsistency and Ten Tag’s dogmatic stance on playing in-form players means Garnacho will be afforded more playing time after the World Cup break.
The teen sensation is already grabbing his chances with both hands, and at this rate, he could soon become a vital member of the first team.