Wes Brown believes his old club Manchester United should resist the temptation to hand breakthrough star Alejandro Garnacho the famous No.7 shirt at Old Trafford.
The exciting 18-year-old winger forced his way into Erik ten Hag’s first-team plans with a series of excellent performances before the World Cup break.
After grabbing his first Red Devils goal against Real Sociedad in the Europa League, Garnacho then added two assists from the bench in the Carabao Cup win over Aston Villa before his dramatic late winner at Fulham in the Premier League.
His last-gasp strike at Craven Cottage drew comparisons with a Cristiano Ronaldo effort 15 years ago and the youngster could fill the void left by the United legend’s acrimonious exit, if Erik ten Hag decides against trying to sign another forward in January.
And while Ronaldo’s absence now leaves the famous No.7 shirt available again, Brown thinks it is too early for Garnacho to be tasked with succeeding the Portuguese.
Brown, who won 11 major honours under Sir Alex Ferguson between 1999 and 2011, has also hailed Ten Hag’s handling of the youngster.
And when asked about Garnacho wearing the famous shirt, Brown told Metro.co.uk on behalf of Bet365: “Maybe not just yet, and I don’t mean that in a bad way.
“He is a great young player, I love his attitude on the pitch, the way he wants it, the way he attacks. With young kids sometimes, it like, ‘give me the ball and I will give it straight back to you’.
“But he’s not into that, he wants to show everyone how good he is. He wants to do well for himself and do well for the team. I think the manager has done well too holding off on him for quite a long time in that first period of the season.
“I know he has been training with the lads every day and he has probably been a bit frustrated he hasn’t been involved a little bit earlier.
“But that has helped him, getting that bit of anger out to show that he is good enough to play in this team. Now it is just about managing that.”
Garnacho lifting every United attacker
Brown also believes that the way Garnacho has burst onto the scene has benefited the other forward players at Ten Hag’s disposal.
He added: “There are quite a few wide players, if someone is not playing well, there is a respect there that if Garnacho keeps playing well, he is going to keep playing. He steps everyone’s levels up.
“We have quite a few players who can play in those positions so it’s a huge boost. It gives the manager a headache but it s good for fans if they are all battling and there is no sulking going on.
“That is what makes a winning team. You play so well that the manager just can’t take you out.”