Investing in youth players is more often than not a lottery toss-up. Nobody can predict the career of any player, no matter how talented they might seem at any age.
Precocious talents like Ravel Morrison lost their way due to off-the-field factors, while some late bloomers like Scott McTominay remain a crucial part of the squad despite never being highly rated in the academy.
However, when that one investment turns out to be good, it makes up for all the effort.
For United, Alejandro Garnacho is well on his way to becoming that one investment.
According to The Athletic, United paid just £100,000 to Atletico Madrid to sign Garnacho in 2020.
The forward arrived as a precocious talent as a part of United’s European wonderkid raid before Brexit rules made it impossible for English clubs to sign non-English players under the age of 18.
Drafted into the U18s to start off, his rise has been so meteoric that he transitioned from that squad straight to the senior setup, looking barely out of place.
As per Transfermarkt, his value is around £25 million. However, it was last updated on June 20, 2023.
Since then, the United attacker has firmly established himself as the first name on the teamsheet on the left wing. Furthermore, international appearances have followed, adding to his reputation.
Most importantly, he is United’s most fearless and reliable attacker at present, which means if a club were to call United for his services, the asking price wouldn’t even be a discussion.
The £100,000 spent by the club was a bargain even then because the player was highly rated. However, today, it seems like plain daylight robbery, as Garnacho is well on his way to becoming a superstar.
A rare unquestional transfer win for United in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.