Manchester United fell to Unai Emery’s Aston Villa in a 3-1 defeat yesterday in Alejandro Garnacho’s first Premier League start.
With Antony and Jadon Sancho both ruled out for the trip, the Argentine was handed the opportunity to carry his midweek form into the weekend.
Unfortunately for the Red Devils, Garnacho may need more time before he is ready to make an impact in England’s top flight.
The winger still demonstrated a youthful exuberance and tried to make his mark in a difficult away game.
He attempted a team-high four dribbles and got involved in seven ground duels in his attempts force the issue for United.
Sadly none of those dribbles saw any success, while he was bested in five of those seven duels.
Indeed, his lack of experience and rawness led to Garnacho giving up possession twelve times in just over an hour.
It was no surprise to see him substituted at that point, although his replacement Anthony Elanga fared no better during his time on the pitch.
While Manchester United have a proud tradition in promoting young players, it is far from ideal for Erik ten Hag to be turning up to away grounds with no option but to turn to the academy graduates.
Garnacho’s poor performance only goes to underline the manager’s insistence that United need more attacking options in their squad.
While the youngster certainly has the ability to be a part of this Man United squad, relying on an 18-year-old for an away game in the Premier League comes with its own risks.
Garnacho could become a star, but he will need to improve drastically on this outing if he is to dissuade Ten Hag from dipping into the transfer market at the next opportunity.
(All stats taken from SofaScore)
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