Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Huge Man Utd talent will be ‘keeping’ regular role as ‘best player’ receives Rooney comparison

Wayne Rooney and Alejandro Garnacho

Man Utd's man of the moment shares a key trait with Wayne Rooney

Alejandro Garnacho is making it hard for Manchester United to consider replacing him, according to Rio Ferdinand, after earning both penalties that led to their 2-0 win over Everton on Saturday.

Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford converted penalties won by Garnacho to give Man Utd a long-awaited return to winning ways at Old Trafford. It was the teenage winger himself though who earned the Player of the Match award from TNT Sports.

With inconsistency from the likes of Rashford and Antony, not to mention Erik ten Hag’s falling out with Jadon Sancho, the wide areas have been a problem for Man Utd at times this season, but Garnacho’s progress has been encouraging.

And, according to Ferdinand, the 19-year-old has grabbed his opportunity and ensured no one else will be taking his place.

“I don’t think any of the players were really expecting at the beginning of the season for him to be the player that he is now in terms of the way that he’s impacting games from the start,” Ferdinand told TNT Sports.

“I think they all expected him to be an impact player off the bench, but he’s took the bull by the horns now and he’s saying: ‘give me that shirt, I’ve got the shirt and I’m keeping it’.

“He’s doing all he can now to be one of the main goal threats in this team.”

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It is the excitement that Garnacho brings – and instils into the crowd – that reminds Ferdinand of a certain Wayne Rooney.

“When you talk about young players, especially attacking players, it’s always the clips you see are with the ball skills and trickery and shots and goals etc,” he explained.

“But the way he moves off the ball is infectious. We talk about Wayne, part of his game being infectious off the ball, and it actually enthuses the crowd, the environment in the stadium, and he’s doing that at 19 years old, which is the amazing thing.”

Rooney tells Garnacho what to improve

Indeed, Rooney himself has been impressed by Garnacho, even if he is aware there will be bad moments throughout his development as well as the good ones.

“I think his work rate off the ball is fantastic and he’s not afraid to put the work in but he is going to make mistakes. He’s a young player. He’s still learning.

“But what he has got, he’s got a drive and hunger, which any fan wants to see in any player.

“I’ve been really pleased with him this season and I think he will be a special talent moving forward.”

Wayne Rooney calls Alejandro Garnacho Man Utd's best player this season

As for where the Argentina international may be able to improve, Rooney pointed towards his end product.

“I think his numbers, his output, his goals, assists, can get better,” the club’s all-time record goalscorer replied. “I think he’s got the capability to do that, so I think over the next few years we will see better numbers from him.

“But he’s still young, he’s still learning and he’s probably been Manchester United’s best player this season.”

Garnacho has played 37 times for United this season, scoring seven goals and contributing five assists (which includes the two penalties he won for his side on Saturday).

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