Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has strongly hinted that Alejandro Garnacho could find himself playing on the right wing more regularly after his heroics against Aston Villa on Tuesday.
Garnacho was the star of the show as United overcame a two-goal deficit to score three goals in the second half and run out winners vs. Unai Emery’s men.
The Argentine grabbed a brace before Rasmus Hojlund completed the comeback and scored his first Premier League goal in the process.
Beyond his goals, Garnacho was a constant threat to the Villa defence and made the right wing a source of threat – something that has usually not been the case when Antony is on the pitch.
Ahead of United’s clash against Nottingham Forest on Saturday, Ten Hag spoke to Sky Sports and discussed Garnacho’s impact on the right flank and whether his future could lie in that role going forward.
Ten Hag said, “You always try to find the balance. The balance on Boxing Day was very good with Garna on the right, Rasmus in the middle and Marcus Rashford off the left. Hopefully, we can continue that.”
The Dutchman went on to add that Hojlund can benefit greatly from sharing the pitch with a winger who can cross from the byline rather than cut inside all the time.
“It is not only about the wingers. You also want the full-backs there. But we have often had to make compromises over the first half of the season. Diogo Dalot is right-footed and on the left side. It can work very good but it is not always beneficial for your strikers.”
“With Garnacho on the right you get a right-footer, a different type of player who can go inside but also go outside. We want those dynamics with swapping positions, combinations, getting in behind, bringing it out of the triangles and, from there, serving our strikers.”
The United boss also thanked the fans for their unwavering support of the team during a campaign in which the Red Devils have massively underperformed.
Ten Hag noted that he and his players are working towards creating a “great atmosphere” at Old Trafford by showing that there is a plan in place and then executing it well enough to energise supporters.
The 53-year-old coach told Sky, “Away from home and at Old Trafford, they always keep going even when we have setbacks, even when we cannot line up the players we want, with all the setbacks and the injuries, they are always behind us. They believe in us. So I say thank you to them.”
When the team sheet against Nottingham Forest comes out on Saturday, certainly one of the things to look out for is in which position Garnacho is deployed.