Man Utd boss Ten Hag demands ‘change’ in one Red Devils star after laces incident

Joe Williams
Man Utd winger Alejandro Garnacho hugs Cristiano Ronaldo

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag wants to see a change in behaviour from Alejandro Garnacho if he wants to be considered for a regular role, according to reports.

The Argentina under-20 international signed for the Red Devils from Atletico Madrid’s youth system in 2020 and made a huge impression in the FA Youth Cup final last season, scoring two goals to help Man Utd win it for the first time since 2011.

And his performances for the younger age groups has propelled Garnacho into Erik ten Hag’s thinking this season with the 18-year-old making four appearances in all competitions.

Ten Hag provided him with a big moment late last month with Garnacho making his first senior start in a 3-0 victory over Sheriff in the Europa League.

It was a huge moment for Garnacho and his family with a source from his inner circle telling The Athletic: “We had been waiting for this moment for a long time as he’s been fully immersed with the first-team dynamics this season. Now it’s time to keep working and seize the moment.

The source added: “Earning a place in an elite squad is one of the most difficult tasks a footballer can have and he is on that stage right now.

Ten Hag praised his improving attitude after the game, the Man Utd boss said: “He deserved his chance, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Especially in the defending part, in the pressing part, in the counter-press, in the defensive transition.

“He can take players on. It is a good capability in football, especially against opponents who defend so deep. But don’t forget: you are playing in a team.

“I was not happy with him (in the early weeks of the season). The last weeks I was happy with him, a better attitude, more resilience.”

And The Athletic has revealed that an incident with Garnacho’s shoelaces was one of the first things which displeased Ten Hag about the youngster’s attitude.

The Athletic added:

‘Garnacho’s talent has never been in dispute. However, Ten Hag said he needed to change some of his behaviour. One element of this in the past was that the teenager walked out of training with his laces untied. It was felt this was too lax an attitude for serious work and had to be corrected.

‘This all has to be part of the process to unleash the potential of any starlet. His confidence is what makes Garnacho a special talent. It just needs to be tuned in the right way.’

Garnacho only has a contract until the end of the season but ‘the way he’s progressed in the past two years reflect his satisfaction at the club’ and his party are making all the right noises about extending his stay at Old Trafford.

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