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Did Ten Hag imply Garnacho shouldn’t be in the World Cup?

18-year-old Alejandro Garnacho was selected to the extended Argentina World Cup squad and Manchester United boss Erik Ten Hag isn’t so sure about it.


Alejandro Garnacho was called up to the Argentina squad for the first time back in March for the World Cup qualifiers, switching his allegiance from Spain to Argentina. He scored four goals in four appearances for the under-20 team at the 2022 Maurice Revello Tournament. And now, he’s been selected in the extended Argentina squad for the World Cup in Qatar. He will find out on Sunday if he made the final cut or not.

Garnacho has made just nine senior career appearances for Manchester United, including coming off the bench in Thursday’s Aston Villa League Cup game, in which he had two assists. It’s an exciting time in the young winger’s career, but United boss Erik Ten Hag isn’t so sure the World Cup is a good idea for Garnacho just yet. When asked if he thinks Garnacho should go to the World Cup, Ten Hag said, “it’s difficult to say”.

“I don’t know all the available Argentina players,” said Ten Hag. “It’s a big step to go to a World Cup, where the best players in the world come together. It’s a big step. I don’t know if that’s the right step for him.

Ten Hag acknowledged Garnacho’s positive points in the game against Aston Villa, but also pointed out areas for improvement.

“I think it was good that also when he came on that he showed performance that he has an impact in the game,” Ten Hag said. “Quite clear, with two assists, some good dribbles, runs behind, but also some things he has to improve. For instance, when we go for the long ball, don’t go for the header with Scott McTominay, go for the second ball.”

Though Ten Hag recognizes Garnacho’s attributes, it seems he isn’t sure a World Cup appearance would be beneficial at this stage of his development.

“I think he has to keep his head clean, stay calm, work hard, and develop, and go from game to game,” said Ten Hag.


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