Erik ten Hag assesses impressive Alejandro Garnacho
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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has candidly revealed how the form of teenage talent Alejandro Garnacho has changed his transfer plans at Old Trafford. The Argentine has impressed this season, with the 18-year-old now primed to sign a new deal with the club. United recruited the youngster from Atletico Madrid nearly three years ago and, now, that decision has paid off.
Speaking ahead of United’s clash with Leeds on Wednesday night, Ten Hag confirmed Garnacho had altered his ideas at the club.
When asked if United need to land a new central midfielder in the summer, the Dutchman stated: “I think our summer plans, we have an idea on the long-term [plans].
“You will also look two, three windows ahead and so we have that long-term plan. But also, you have to revisit that plan every time because of developments.
“For instance, who could have expected this development with Garnacho? And so this changes your approach to the window.”
So with United fully behind Garnacho, Express Sport will now take a look at four players they ultimately opted against pursuing last month.
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At the start of the January transfer window, many expected Cody Gakpo to leave PSV Eindhoven for Old Trafford.
United had eyed the Netherlands international back in the summer, only to end up recruiting Antony from Ajax instead.
Following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, there was an expectancy that United would revive their interest in the 23-year-old.
However, with Gakpo more of a winger than a centre-forward, the Red Devils decided against investing in the attacker.
That allowed Liverpool to swoop, with the Reds ultimately agreeing a deal with PSV – though Gakpo is yet to score his first goal for the club in the short time since his arrival.
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United have previously been open to signing Christian Pulisic on loan from Chelsea.
However, there were a couple of factors that prevented the Red Devils from snapping up the USA international last month.
One was his injury record, with the Chelsea star struggling to stay fit under both Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter this term.
And another is the form of Garnacho, which made any need for a winger arriving redundant.
Pulisic is now expected to leave Chelsea at the end of the season, particularly after the January arrivals of Mykhaylo Mudryk and Noni Madueke.
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United have long admired Raphinha, who previously played in the Premier League with Leeds.
And, late in the January transfer window, it was reported the Red Devils were eyeing a deal for the Barcelona star amid his struggles at the Nou Camp.
This was never going to happen, however.
United know that, in addition to Garnacho, they’re well-stocked for wingers due to having the likes of Antony, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho at their disposal.
Had Garnacho not evolved so drastically over the past year or so, it’s possible things would have been different.
United were linked with Yannick Carrasco on transfer deadline day.
But with the Belgium international another winger, albeit a versatile one, the Red Devils turned down the chance to make a move.
Any deal for Carrasco would potentially have impacted Garnacho and his hopes of being a regular in the United first-team in the future.
And the Red Devils’ priority was always a natural central-midfielder instead, particularly due to long-term injuries to Christian Eriksen and Donny van de Beek.
Marcel Sabitzer joined as an alternative, with the Austria international expected to start against Leeds on Wednesday night (8pm).
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