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It looks like Alejandro Garnacho has overcome his obstacles at Manchester United.

Despite Man Utd’s devastating Wednesday loss to FC Copenhagen, Alejandro Garnacho had a strong performance.

Despite having unlimited potential, Alejandro Garnacho has been hindered by something. Maybe, at last, he was able to move past it.

There is typically a demand for a player with Garnacho’s caliber of quality to start as frequently as feasible. Early in Phil Foden’s career, Manchester City supporters were almost pleading for Pep Guardiola to play him more. Since Manchester United is renowned for developing young talent, it is expected that a member of the academy will always be on the team.

However, there weren’t many calls for Garnacho to start in the starting lineup. This is not meant to minimize his skill or the fan base’s affection for him. The thrilling winger, who is largely seen as Erik ten Hag’s most dynamic player, was desperate to wear the No. 7 shirt in the summer.

Nevertheless, Garnacho has contributed much more off the bench than on the field. He has a history of being lackluster when he first starts.

It isn’t really unfortunate. At barely 19 years old, he is still getting used to the physical demands and rhythms of senior football. It’s unrealistic to expect any teenager to dominate a match unless they’re Jude Bellingham. However, it’s been apparent how much Garnacho’s influence has been muted when he enters games early rather than coming on as a substitute, when his directness, quickness, and skill cause havoc with worn-out legs.

For United, Garnacho has made 51 appearances overall, 17 of which have been as a starter. Out of his 16 starts, he has only been able to score or assist three times. The fact that Garnacho seldom finishes games is arguably more indicative of his poor performance when he does start them.

Only five occasions has the Argentine played all ninety minutes for United. He has been hooked twice at halftime and replaced ten times by the 67th minute. Garnacho will eventually need to start playing entire games rather than flashy cameos in order to fully realize his potential, but there are encouraging indicators that this is beginning to happen.

In fact, two of the five complete ninety minutes occurred last week, in back-to-back games for the first time. Even before taking into account his performance in either game, Garnacho’s ability to play the entire ninety minutes shows that he is growing stronger and more capable of enduring the pressure of long, demanding games on the field.

Although he didn’t have the most spectacular attacking performance in each, his effort and maturity were commendable. Garnacho’s performance in the Danish accident was especially noteworthy.

Garnacho was putting on a fantastic offensive display down the left flank before United was reduced to 10 men, making Ten Hag’s team appear more unified than they had all season. He was a constant threat and set up the second goal with a powerful run during a furious counterattack, even though he ought to have scored.

After Marcus Rashford was substituted, the performance changed, but it was still quite good. Under the circumstances, Garnacho’s removal would not have been shocking, but he was trusted to stay on the field and put in a tremendous amount of effort despite the difficult conditions.

The more times Garnacho is selected in the starting lineup, the better he will be off the bat. He has now made three consecutive starts, and in the last two, he has finished the game with consistent improvements.

It’s encouraging to see that Garnacho is prepared to advance at United.

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