Erik ten Hag says 'pathway is OPEN for young players at Man United'

‘He is back’: Erik ten Hag lauds Alejandro Garnacho as the ‘huge talent’ scores from the bench against Wolves, with the Dutchman insisting the pathway is OPEN for youngsters ‘if they work in the right way’

  • Erik ten Hag has praised Alejandro Garnacho after he scored on his comeback 
  • Man United beat Wolves 2-0 at Old Trafford with Garnacho getting the second 
  • He also insisted that the ‘pathway is still open for young players at Man United’

Erik ten Hag described Alejandro Garnacho as ‘a huge talent’ after Manchester United’s teenage star climbed off the bench to seal victory over Wolves.

The anticipation inside Old Trafford was palpable when Garnacho replaced Jadon Sancho in the 82nd minute with United sitting rather uncomfortably on a one-goal lead.

The 18-year-old Argentina winger, who was making his first appearance in two months after recovering from an ankle injury, delivered eight minutes later as he fired his fifth goal of a breakthrough season.

Ten Hag now hopes Garnacho will be full of confidence for the remaining four games as United look to secure a top-four finish and beat Manchester City in the FA Cup final next month.

‘Garna scored a great goal and he did almost everything good – that will give him belief,’ said the United boss. ‘That’s good for us for the rest of the season. He is back and he can have an impact, and that will give him confidence. 

Erik ten Hag (right) has lauded his talented young forward Alejandro Garnacho (left) 

Garnacho (first-right) scored to give Man United a 2-0 win against Wolves at Old Trafford 

Garnacho found out he was going to be a father in April after signing a new deal with the club

‘One of the aspects of the biggest talents is, first, they take responsibility and, second, they are mature. They have the skills and the belief that they can dominate opponents and once again he did it.

‘He has a big impact in many games, either when starting or coming on. He is ready and straight into the game and that is so important for the squad that you can bring in young players. 

‘Hopefully he will progress so quickly and he can compete for a starting position. That is his challenge.’

Asked how Garnacho can improve, Ten Hag said: ‘Making decisions, scanning situations, when to go into one-on-ones or get behind. 

‘When to go for goal or give the extra pass, or get the assist rather than to go for your own success. It’s decisions like that make a good player, a top player. That is the difference.

‘But when you see it all over, he is a huge talent and is brave. He has scored a winner against Fulham (in November) and had an assist against City (in January), and now this second goal.

The Argentine hasn’t featured for Man United since March, after he suffered an ankle injury 

Ten Hag said a ‘pathway is open for young players at United’ if they have the right work ethic

Anthony Martial (left) gave the home side the lead in the 32nd minute with a great strike 

‘It shows that pathway is open for young players at United if you work in the right way. When you work hard then we can guide you to get into the team. But in the end it is about the player. He has to invest and have a plan to do it.’

Garnacho’s goal settled nerves inside Old Trafford after Wolves goalkeeper Daniel Bentley made three excellent saves on his Premier League debut as United opened up a four-point lead over Liverpool in the race for Champions League qualification.

‘What I heard, it is in the DNA of the club,’ added Ten Hag. ‘United never go the easy way but once again we make the goalkeeper of the opponent the man of the match. 

‘It was the case two games ago against Brighton. You have to make your life easier and then you close the game.’

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