English carabao cup

Erik ten Hag toughens up on Alejandro Garnacho after Crystal Palace triumph

Alejandro Garnacho came through with his first goal of the season against Crystal Palace in the Carabao Cup.

The starlet’s goal prompted United boss Erik ten Hag to adopt a ruthless stance insisting that the winger was ‘not good enough’ in the first few months of the season as baffled Red Devils fans have been questioning Garnacho’s lack of involvement in the Premier League this term. Garnacho’s excellent performance in the Carabao Cup against Crystal Palace only further compounded the issue.

The 19-year-old Garnacho was praised by Ten Hag for rounding off an excellent move to score the opening goal of the match by getting on the end of Diogo Dalot’s cut-back. However the Dutchman insisted that the academy product is still not up to par to earn regular minutes so far this season. The winger has only started twice in the top flight this term but has not lasted more than 68 minutes in either of them. That is a telling indictment considering the proliferation of injuries and the off-field crises leading to a lack of depth out wide.

“You have seen at the start of the season we played him, his contribution was not good enough,” Ten Hag said. “But he also had some good actions. You see always he is a threat in the game even when he is not playing that well.

“He has to learn when he does his job in defending he will always have his moment and he will always be decisive because he has great qualities.”

Commenting on Garnacho’s need to improve his off-the-ball game, Ten Hag continued: “As well, it’s not only off the ball. But I want to see like today, he is entering the box in the right spot to finish.

“But I think it is quite normal for a player of his age that there is space for a lot of improvement. Everyone likes him, the fans like him, the team likes him, I like him but we also have to demand from him and push him because he can act on a very high level but he has to show it every day.”