Alejandro Garnacho has been one of the best finds of the season for Manchester United.
After helping the United U18 side win the FA Youth Cup last season, he was promoted to the senior team by Erik ten Hag at the start of the campaign.
Garnacho has since taken massive strides forward as the season has progressed.
The Argentine forward scored his first goal for the Red Devils in their 1-0 win over Real Sociedad during the final group game at the Europa League.
A breakthrough season at Old Trafford
He has been a breath of fresh air in the attack, winning over fans with his willingness to dribble past defenders and be an absolute menace in the final third.
Garnacho has started just four games across all competitions but has proven himself as a solid option to bring on off the bench.
The 18-year-old has six goal contributions (2 goals, 4 assists) and the majority have come from the bench.
His most beloved cameo was the one against Man City, which saw him come on and provide an assist for Marcus Rashford’s winner.
He’s becoming a favourite among the match-going fans, who have replaced the ‘VIVA Ronaldo’ chant with a ‘VIVA Garnacho’ one.
Garnacho is packed with a lot of potential and has all the traits to be the next prominent no.7 for the Red Devils.
Weird response to criticism after Leeds United draw
However, he is still only 18 and the current season is his first major one at the highest level.
He is still raw, which will result in some inconsistent performances – as he adapts to playing against more experienced players.
The 18-year-old has recently received some criticism on social media for his performance in United’s 2-2 draw against Leeds United.
The draw put an end to the Red Devils’ 12-game winning streak at Old Trafford and held them back from going joint on points with Man City in the Premier League standings.
Garnacho had an eventful game – having one shot cleared off the line and coming really close to scoring in the first half.
But his inability to finish off chances clinically frustrated some United fans, who criticized his performance on Twitter.
Weirdly, the 18-year-old ended up liking a tweet that actually slandered him and asked him to be replaced in the next game.
Fans concerned about Garnacho
Many fans found this to be surprising because normally players don’t like tweets that criticize them after games.
Garnacho might seem to have the understanding that his best role is coming off the bench for the Red Devils for now.
But his ‘like’ could even have been because he might agree with the points regarding the midfield depth being weak or Fred’s performance.
Irrespective, some United fans are concerned about this because it shows Garnacho ends up surfing through social media after games.
This could be to get validation of how he did and get to know the fans’ opinions, which could be a concern because a team’s social media fanbase is not always fair or logical.
United supporters are hopeful that he does not get badly affected by the Twitter slander and have called for an end to brutal criticism towards an inexperienced teenager like him.
Erik ten Hag appears to be pleased with Garnacho’s development at United and that is what matters the most in the end.
The gaffer will hope that the Argentine forward – whose current deal expires in the summer – will sign a new long-term contract soon and complete the prophecy of him being United’s next big thing.