Erik ten Hag has been very impressed with Manchester United youngster Alejandro Garnacho and has decided to fast-track the 17-year-old into the first-team squad, according to reports.
The teenager – who played for Spain at youth level but has opted to represent Argentina – wowed for United’s youth teams last season, even making two Premier League appearances at the backend of the season.
Garnacho netted twice in the FA Youth Cup final as the Red Devils won the trophy for the first time in a decade, and also impressed at this summer’s Toulon Tournament.
While new boss Ten Hag is keen to strengthen in the transfer market, he also wants to better utilise the club’s talented pool of academy players – and Garnacho looks set to be the first player to benefit.
According to The Mirror, the Dutch coach has told senior staff at United that he intends to fast-track the former Atletico Madrid starlet’s career and will include him in the first-team squad.
Ten Hag was set up with a subscription to the club’s media channel MUTV so he could watch a re-run of the FA Youth Cup, with Garnacho the stand-out player in the match.
The youngster has already trained with Argentina’s senior team and impressed head coach Lionel Scaloni, while he was also involved in United’s first-team squad under Ralf Rangnick.
There will be plenty of opportunities for young players next season, with Ten Hag also putting his trust in Ajax’s academy graduates, while the Europa League provides a perfect testing ground for players like Garnacho.
In addition to the Argentine, Ten Hag is also thought to have been impressed by Hannibal Mejbri – who gave several fiery cameos under Rangnick – and he will also be given a chance in pre-season this summer.
Although Ten Hag is keen to exploit United’s excellent youth production, he is also looking to bring in a number of new faces with Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong his top target.
In addition to signing the Netherlands international, United are also believed to be in the market for a defensive midfielder, a right winger and a new central striker.
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