Patrice Evra has warned Manchester United against becoming too dependant on Alejandro Garnacho, amidst reported interest from the likes of Real Madrid and Chelsea.
The Argentine has taken well to first-team football at Old Trafford and has been one of the bright sparks of a tentatively positive season.
He has already scored twice for United and has left many fans anticipating a fantastic career for the youngster.
But Evra believes that expectations – both for the club and Garnacho himself – should be tempered.
“For Ten Hag, there’s been a lot of pressure and a lot of pressure away from the pitch, like with the Cristiano Ronaldo case,” Evra told BetFair (via SportBible). “Ten Hag has come to a new league and I’m quite happy.
“I don’t expect any more for United, I keep saying it’s like a rollercoaster, they will win four games in a row that you don’t expect them to win, and then they will lose a game. Last game we won against Fulham, and I felt we were too dependent on Garnacho, a young kid, and that’s why I know United are not ready.
“If you are at a club like United or Juve, if it’s kids that make the difference that’s when you know something is wrong because in my time you had 20 personalities and characters, then the young players would come and be a surprise, but not the saviour.
“I don’t like that. I love Garnacho but I don’t want him to be the saviour, because if he is, it means something is not right.”
The ‘rollercoaster’ comment will certainly resonate with supporters who have seen many ups and downs since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
But Erik ten Hag does appear to be bringing some semblance of consistency to the Red Devils and his ability to do that while creating pathways for youngsters has led to good moods around Old Trafford since he took over.
Naturally, relying on an 18-year-old winger to come into the side as a saviour is not an ideal situation, but that does not yet appear to be where United are at.
With Ten Hag light on attacking options, Garnacho may well have gotten more gametime than his manager might have initially foreseen.
That is, in part, the reason behind United’s pursuit of attacking reinforcements in the January transfer window.
Garnacho will certainly continue to get plenty of minutes for the first team, but through good management and recruitment, United should be able to keep themselves from becoming too dependent on the young star.