Manchester United youth boss responds to Alejandro Garnacho landing Argentina international call-up

Manchester United youngster Alejandro Garnacho was one of seven youngsters called up this week by Argentina to their latest international squad.

Garnacho has Argentine parents, but was born in Spain, and he had previously represented Spain at under-17 level. As we noted, there has been a lot of excitement in the Argentine press over the call.

The 17-year-old is yet to confirm his final decision, and is currently concentrating on Wednesday night’s FA Youth Cup semi-final at Old Trafford against Wolves, a competition in which he has scored four goals in four games.

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Proud of him

Manchester United head of academy Nick Cox has congratulated Garnacho on the call-up, and added that the youngster has a big decision ahead.

Cox told the Belfast Telegraph: “He’s a talented boy. I think some of his performances have caught the eye. He’s one of many talented boys we’ve got.

“We’ve been in constant dialogue with him about what he might do.

“This is pretty fresh news. He’s yet to make a decision. I know he’s proud of his heritage, he’s proud of both countries. I think he’s honoured that both countries have an interest in him.

“And, really, the take-home message for me is ‘you’re doing OK if you’ve got two countries that are interested in selecting you’.”

An important decision to get right

Garnacho will be wary that a call-up to Argentina at this early stage of his career may just be designed to lock him down, and may not lead to regular opportunities.

He can still change nations before he is 21 if he has played less than three matches, and none in a World Cup.

However, once he chooses Argentina, there is less chance Spain would even bother attempting to change his mind.

Both countries have a rich footballing history, and it could come down to simply choosing Argentina because they have shown interest and he will want to grab the opportunity, and even join a squad which contains Lionel Messi.

Turning that opportunity down could be one he regrets forever.

Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images

But a decision also must factor in where he holds a connection. Garnacho grew up in Spain before leaving for United in 2020.

United may choose to direct him to Zidane Iqbal, who has recently chosen Iraq ahead of Pakistan and England, for the launch of his international career, while Hannibal has also snubbed France for Tunisia.

Both players featured alongside Garnacho in the UEFA Youth League last week, and if he needs advice, they will no doubt be happy to consult.

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