Alejandro Garnacho excited by Argentina call-up and praises Manchester United coaches

Alejandro Garnacho is in the rare position of being close to making his international debut before his Manchester United debut.

The 17-year-old was called into Argentina’s preliminary squad earlier this month before making the final cut.

He has now flown out to Argentina to link up with Lionel Messi and co for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Argentina face Venezuela on Friday night and Ecuador next Wednesday, and have already qualified for Qatar 2022.

Garnacho had previously been a Spain under-18s international and the call-up came to a surprise to many, but it was not a total shock to him.

Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

‘Unique opportunity’

Speaking to United’s club website, Garnacho revealed Argentina’s staff had made enquiries with him several weeks in advance.

The teenager explained: “I have dual nationality, so this is a unique opportunity for me. I’m looking forward to the moment and make the most of it. I was born in Madrid, but my mother is Argentine, as is her entire family, and it will be an honor to be able to represent Argentina.

“Justin [Cochrane] and Darren Fletcher are two members of the club who are always very attentive to me, supporting me in all kinds of decisions. And outside the club is Javier Mascherano, who is Argentina’s Under-20 coach. Since they were interested in me two or three months ago, they have always been very attentive, worrying about me. He is very attentive, and I am very grateful.”

Garnacho also praised United’s youth coaches Travis Binnion, Neil Wood and Neil Ryan for all helping with his development. He had particular praise for Binnion, commenting: “He has helped me a lot. I have progressed a lot as a footballer thanks to him.”

The youngster has scored 15 goals this season and also has six assists in all competitions at academy level.

Five of these goals have come in the FA Youth Cup, with United reaching the final which will be played at Old Trafford.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Speaking further about the opportunity to train with Lionel Messi and co, Garnacho added: “I have always dreamed of sharing a team with stars of this level, and of learning a lot from them.

“It is a dream to be able to share a team with some of the idols of my childhood, so I am going to take advantage of it to improve [as a footballer]. Likewise, I am always very motivated, because I am doing what I like, which is playing football.”

Amid a tremendous season, Garnacho has put himself on the map. While there is the Youth Cup final to focus on, the former Atletico Madrid talent has a real chance of being fast-tracked into the first team, either late this season or in pre-season.

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