Erik ten Hag has questioned whether Alejandro Garnacho is ready to be part of Argentina‘s squad at the World Cup despite a thrilling cameo performance from the Manchester United teenager against Aston Villa on Thursday night.
Garnacho came off the bench at Old Trafford to set up two goals as United twice came from a goal down to eventually win 4-2 and book their place in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.
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Ten Hag was impressed with the 18-year-old’s performance but hinted that it may be too soon for him to be part of Argentina’s squad in Qatar.
Garnacho has been named in a preliminary squad that will need to be whittled down to 26 players before FIFA’s deadline on Sunday.
“It is a big step to go to a World Cup where all the best players go together,” said Ten Hag.
“That is a big step and I don’t know if that is the right step for him. I think he has to keep clean, stay calm and work hard and develop, and improve game to game.
“It’s difficult to say, I don’t know the abilities of all the Argentina players. I know a lot of players from Argentina, but for 26, what is available for them.”
Garnacho, signed from Atletico Madrid in 2020, has impressed since being handed his full debut in the 3-0 win over FC Sheriff last month.
He scored his first senior goal against Real Socieded last week and Ten Hag says he has capabilities to become a regular at Old Trafford as long as he keeps his focus on football.
“When he keeps working, keeps this attitude, then anything is possible,” said the United manager.
“If he keeps his attitude and wants to improve every day, when he is doing the right things in his lifestyle, it is possible.
“You can see he has capabilities and can contribute to attacking football. Also he has something, he can break open a compact defending line. I think all teams that want to attack, that want to play in opponents’ half, they need players like that.
“He can out-play them and also in the final decisions he can do the right things. Once again, it depends on his attitude.”
World Cup may be too soon for United’s Garnacho
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