Anthony Elanga has been a regular fixture in Manchester United‘s Premier League games under Erik ten Hag but the Dutch manager may have an ever better youngster waiting in the wings at Old Trafford in Alejandro Garnacho.
Elanga has featured in six out of seven of United’s fixtures in all competitions so far this season but has just one assist to his name, averaging a disappointing 6.50/10 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
Garnacho, meanwhile, has just two substitute appearances to his name so far this season and with his contract set to expire at the end of the current campaign, Ten Hag must give him more first-team opportunities if he wants to keep him at Old Trafford.
The Argentine winger joined United as a 16-year-old from Atletico Madrid and has caught the eye with his performances in the academy, contributing 22 goals and 11 assists in 53 appearances for United’s various youth sides.
Elanga was registering very similar numbers in United’s academy, hitting 26 goals and 16 assists in 69 appearances, which suggests that Garnacho could soon make the step up into the first team squad.
The 18-year-old was called up to Argentina’s national side when he was just 17, while Argentina U20s manager Javier Mascherano also sang his praises earlier this year, suggesting that Garnacho has “huge potential“.
The teenage star caught the eye at Old Trafford when his brace helped United win the FA Youth Cup last season, with manager Travis Binnion saying:
“That boy could be in any stadium in the world and he wouldn’t care. That’s his make-up. A few of them are like that and that’s why they are going to have good careers.”
However, Garnacho has been limited to just 19 minutes of first-team action so far this season and needs to be afforded more game time if he is going to extend his stay at Old Trafford.
Thursday’s game against Sheriff Tiraspol could represent the ideal opportunity for Ten Hag to unleash the 18-year-old, as with regular football, there seems little to suggest that Garnacho can’t be a star for United in the near future.