‘It’s a big step’: Ten Hag hints Man Utd star doesn’t deserve World Cup place

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag has hinted that it is too early for Argentine winger Alejandro Garnacho to go to a World Cup.

Despite being born in Spain and playing in the Under-18s, Garnacho has represented Argentina’s Under-20s five times this year.

And now Argentine coach Lionel Scaloni has selected him in his extended Argentina squad for the World Cup in Qatar, which starts at the end of this month.

Garnacho will find out on Sunday if he has made the final cut after only making nine senior career appearances for Man Utd.

The 18-year-old has played more for the Red Devils this season and came off the bench last night against Aston Villa in the League Cup to provide two assists in a 4–2 win.

That comes shortly after Ten Hag gave him his first Premier League start in a 3-1 loss to Villa over the weekend with Garnacho quite ineffective.

Speaking about Garnacho’s World Cup prospects, Ten Hag said: “It’s hard to say. I don’t know all the Argentine players available, of course I know many players from Argentina, what is available to them from 26.

“And the other thing is that it’s a big step to go to a World Cup, where the best players in the world get together, it’s a big step.

“I don’t know if that’s the right step for him. I think he has to keep a clean head, stay calm, work hard and develop, I think going from match to match.”

After a monotonous first half between Villa and Man Utd on Thursday night, which ended 0-0, the second period came alive when Anthony Martial disallowed an early Ollie Watkins goal just minutes after the restart.

Villa then went ahead through a Diogo Dalot own goal before goals from Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay put United through to the next round of the cup.

Man Utd will face Burnley in the round of 16 of the competition and Ten Hag gave his opinion after the game, he said: “I think we made good steps in the last few months with our mentality and this is further proof of that, but we are not there, where we want to be.

“Sunday was very poor. it can’t happen. We have to blame ourselves for performance. But what we see after such a performance on Sunday, fighting today, even down twice, is good and a real compliment for tonight.”

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