Ralf Rangnick promotes Man Utd academy star to first team with vision for the future

Manchester United have spent minutes training talent this season under Ralf Rangnick, and Alejandro Garnacho could be next to feature in the first team.

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Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has brought teenager Alejandro Garnacho into first-team training ahead of next weekend’s trip Everton.

The 17-year-old is yet to step out for the Reds’ first team, but can now claim to have trained with both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Ronaldo has come back after illness as United are getting ready for the weekend action, while Messi was with Garnacho in the Argentina team on the last international holiday.

The Madrid-born youngster has been the subject of an international tug-of-war, having played for Spain’s under-18s before being courted by Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni. And international bosses are not the only ones to recognize his qualities, with Rangnick giving the midfielder the chance to impress alongside senior United players.

Since taking over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Rangnick has given many opportunities to train talent. Hannibal also participated in first team training before Everton game, while others have minutes in the league and in Europe.

Anthony Elanga is the biggest success story, he debuted under Solskjaer but rose through the ranks under Rangnick. He has three goals to his name this season, including one against Atletico Madrid in Champions League, and made his debut for the Swedish team in the recent World Cup qualifying play-off.

While Garnacho is yet to play for United’s senior team, he has already played minutes for teams of their age. He has two goals in 10 appearances in Premier League 2, and also appeared as a supporting character in Papa John’s Trophy as he replaced Zidane Iqbal, another youngster who broke through under Rangnick.

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Garnacho is yet to make his senior debut for United


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Garnacho’s promotion comes at a time of change at United’s top level. Rangnick’s interim tenure always ends after the 2021-22 season, but the club is said to be about to confirm Erik ten Hag as their next permanent manager after “advanced negotiations” with the Dutch.

Rangnick, who joined shortly before his transfer a year after playing for Lokomotiv Moscow, has long been expected to move into a mentoring role over the next two seasons. However, new details of responsibilities emerged, and the former RB Leipzig manager may work as little as six days a month.

The promotion of players like Garnacho could be seen as an attempt to breathe new life into United’s season with their hopes of a top four quickly dying out. With eight games remaining, they drop to seventh place – three points behind fourth place Arsenalbut with the London side holding a game and preparing to host Rangnick’s men at Emirates Stadium on April 23.

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