May 14 (Reuters) – Manchester United’s Argentine winger Alejandro Garnacho must push for a starting spot in the Premier League side after an impressive debut season in which the 18-year-old has scored five goals, manager Erik ten Hag said.
Garnacho, who has also made four assists, marked his return from an ankle injury by coming off the bench to score in added time and seal a 2-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.
“He came in and did almost everything good and scored a great goal that will give him belief. It’s good for us for the rest of the season that he’s back and can have an impact,” Ten Hag told reporters.
“I’m happy we can bring in young players and, hopefully he will progress so quickly that he can compete for a starting position. Because that is his next challenge.”
Asked what Garnacho needed to do to start for United, Ten Hag said: “Making decisions, being aware, scanning situations, when to go one-on-one, get behind, when to go for goal or make an extra pass.
“Decisions like that are what makes a good player a top player – that is the difference. But when you see it overall, he’s a huge talent and very brave.”
Ten Hag said the pathway into the starting side was open for young players such as Garnacho, who signed a new deal to stay at United until 2028.
“But, in the end, it’s about the player – he has to invest and have a plan to do it,” the manager added.
United are fourth in the league with 66 points, four ahead of fifth-placed Liverpool with three games to go.