Alejandro Garnacho has the ‘evil gene’ and the ‘rogue gene’ that could help the Manchester United teenager become a great player after his stoppage-time winner against Fulham, according to Sky Sports’ Jamie Redknapp.
In the final game before the curtain fell on the Premier League ahead of the World Cup break, the spoils looked set to be shared until Garnacho’s dramatic late intervention.
United had taken the lead after 14 minutes when Christian Eriksen took advantage of a well-worked quick break from the visitors before slotting the ball into an empty net.
Marco Silva’s men were rewarded for their efforts just after the hour mark when former United winger Daniel James also struck from close range for a deserved equalizer – the player’s first goal of the season on loan at Leeds.
However, despite Fulham being the better side for much of the game, it was the visitors who claimed victory when Garnacho got past Bernd Leno just before the final whistle.
Speaking after the 18-year-old provided two assists from the bench in United’s 4-2 win over Aston Villa on Thursday night’s Carabao Cup, manager Erik ten Hag warned Garnacho that his chances of succeeding at Old Trafford depended on his attitude. .
But his latest appearance from the bench led Sky Sports pundit Redknapp to encourage Garnacho to express himself in the same way Wayne Rooney was allowed to under Sir Alex Ferguson.
“All the best players have the flirtatious gene – you don’t want to have a Gary Nevilles team,” Redknapp said. “The greats have a bit of devilry about them. Look at Wayne Rooney.
“Sometimes it doesn’t always add up, but they do things differently. You need match-winners and that’s what he is.
“If you go through the greats of history, most of history has a bit of genius and madness alongside it.
“Fulham had played so well in the second half and they could have won as the better team. But that big moment came from Garnacho because he brought (Marcus) Rashford into the middle. United had lost the spark.
“Garnacho has the world at his feet now. There will be a roar in his home country given the week he’s had, but he’s missed out on the Argentina team. He still has plenty of other World Cups to come. world to hope.
“It was one of those ‘wow’ moments in the Premier League. It was just fantastic play, the way he picks it up and plays a one-two with Eriksen.
“You’ve been hearing so many rumors about this young man for a long time, about the talent he has and he’s just shown it on the world stage. It’s an incredible goal after the two assists in midweek. How great must he be feeling good right now?”
Neville: Garnacho has something in him.
Sky Sports’ Gary Neville at Craven Cottage:
“He’s got something in him – there’s no doubt about it. Bad attitude or not, he can play. He’s brought real energy since coming down the left with his speed. The one-two then the finish is class.
“I remember Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a solo goal for this side many years ago that won Manchester United a game here, but not as late as this one.
“Erik ten Hag won’t believe it because his team was really poor in the last 20 minutes, but he sent the traveling fans into chaos.
“If you’re a young player at Manchester United, you have to have arrogance, you have to have ego. Garnacho seems to have that – and passion too.
“He just delivered a moment of absolute brilliance and he broke Fulham’s heart.”
Ten Hag: We have unity as a club
After starting the weekend in fifth place, Erik ten Hag’s side signed for the extended World Cup break on a high note despite the absence of a number of key players in London, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Antony, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane among the missing. .
After James leveled, Fulham looked most likely to snatch the three points – but Garnacho would have the last laugh.
Aged 18 years and 135 days, the Argentine became the youngest player to register a 90th-minute winner in the Premier League since Federico Macheda against Aston Villa, also for Manchester United, in April 2009 (17 years and 226 days) .
Asked about Garnacho’s combination of confidence and arrogance, Ten Hag said: “It’s a great skill he has. But you always have to find the balance. He can perform under stress and he’s come and gone. performed well as it did on Thursday.
“Last week we had some good choices with substitutes that had a big impact. It’s a massive win, it’s really important and I’m very happy with it.
“It would be weird if I said I knew [what would happen] before [sending him on]. That’s kind of the feeling you have. You need an eye for that. Sometimes I’m wrong too but in this case I’ve seen his improvement over the past few months and you could see his potential.
“We knew it was the right time to bring him in, but you can’t think he will have such an impact before, but he did.
“It shows what real talent can do. But there is still a long way for him to go. He has to keep his feet on the ground.
“He needs to make a lot more investments because he will be recognizable to everyone, so it’s much more important to confirm that. Big players know that. Young players don’t know that.
“Now a four-week break is already a danger for him because he has momentum now. Let’s see how he comes back. You have to deal with it with him but when his energy is good I’m sure he will have an impact.
“I think we have a base. We’re going in the right direction, the culture has changed. The attitude has changed and that’s good. We’ve also improved. We have a better mentality and you saw that today. today with the winner in the last minute.
“We are now united, we are united. The dressing room, the staff, the directors, the whole club and the supporters. I am really happy with this development.”