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Alejandro Garnacho profile: What we know about the Man United FA Youth Cup star that imitated Ronaldo

The youngster had been making a name for himself at United and could be set for a major breakthrough next season.

Remember the name...Alejandro Garnacho!

It may be a little early to compare the young striker to Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney - but there is little doubt the 17-year-old striker has been forging a fine reputation for himself as he makes his way through the ranks at Old Trafford.

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Manchester World profiles the former Atletico Madrid youngster who adores Ronaldo, has already rubbed shoulders with Lionel Messi and has matched an acheivement racked up by Paul Pogba earlier in his career.

When did he join Manchester United?

The Red Devils completed the signing of Garnacho in September 2020 after seeing off interest from Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid by agreeing a deal with Spanish giants Atletico Madrid.

He followed in the footsteps of two other La Liga youngsters that summer after United also signed Marc Jurado and Alvaro Fernandez from Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.

Garnacho represented Spain at youth level but is eligible to play for Argentina through his mother.

The youngster has represented La Albiceleste at Under-20 level and received a surprise senior call-up for World Cup qualifiers against Venezuela and Ecuador earlier this year.

What is his record at youth level for United?

Garnacho showed plenty of promise during his first year with the Red Devils as he scored seven goals in 18 appearances in the Under-18s Premier League and FA Youth Cup.

His form has continued into the current season with the youngster finding the net in Premier League 2, the UEFA Youth League, Under-18s Premier League and FA Youth Cup.

In total, Garnacho’s youth record at United is 20 goals in 51 appearances across all competitions.

He hit the headlines again on Wednesday night when he netted twice as United claimed the FA Youth Cup with a 3-1 win against Nottingham Forest in front of over 66,000 supporters at Old Trafford.

With Sir Alex Ferguson watching on, Garnacho scored from the penalty spot on 78 minutes and celebrated by copying Cristiano Ronaldo’s ‘SIU’ celebration before doubling his tally to ensure he was part of the first United side to lift the the cup in over a decade.

His performance met the approval of United under-18s manager Travis Binnion, who said: “That boy could be in any stadium in the world and he wouldn’t care. That’s his make up, and a few of them are like that, that’s why they are going to have good careers.”

Has Garnacho made a senior debut?

Yes, and recently!

After shining in the club’s Under-23s setup, Garnacho came off the bench to replace Anthony Elanga in the closing stages of the 1-1 home draw against Chelsea last month.

He will now hope to capture the attention of Erik ten Hag when the Ajax coach takes charge of Old Trafford at the end of the season.

What has been said about him?

Speaking ahead of his senior debut, United interim manager Ralf Rangnick said: “He has been training with us [the first team] and I know that he is one of the most promising players.

“He is still only 17, but if he keeps his feet on the ground, and if he keeps trying to get better every day, then he will not only be sitting on the bench but there is every chance he will be playing for this club.”

After receiving a call-up to the Argentina squad, Garnacho told the club website: “This (call-up]) will get people talking about me but I’m still young and it’s the beginning of my career and I’m just focused on playing football and on improving.

“Away from the club, I’m very grateful to Javier Mascherano, the Argentina Under-20 coach. Since they were first interested in me two or three months ago, he has always paid close attention to me, looking out for me and being attentive and thoughtful.”