ALEJANDRO GARNACHO almost blew his Manchester United career after turning up late for team meetings on the clubâs pre-season tour.
The 18-year-old hit the headlines on Thursday with the winner in the Red Devils Europa League victory over Real Sociedad in only his second start for the club.
But after his full debut against FC Sheriff the previous week manager Erik Ten Hag referenced problems with the player in pre-season.
And captain on the night Bruno Fernandes did likewise after the game in San Sebastian on Thursday.
They were referring to his behaviour as part of the squad on the summer tour of Bangkok and Australia.
While Garnacho was taken on the tour, he did not play after twice turning up late for team meetings.
He finally did play in pre-season in the clubâs final game before the Premier League season kicked in a match against against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford.
His goal against Sociedad on Thursday made him the youngest non-English scorer in Europe for the club.
But after the game Fernandes referenced his attitude on pre-season.
Fernandes said: “He knows we expect a lot from him. He wasnât at his best at the beginning of the season.
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“On the tour he didn’t have the best attitude that he should have, but now he’s training better and getting his chances. He’s deserving of his chances.â
This came a week after his full debut against FC Sheriff when Ten Hag also referred to his behaviour in the pre-season.
Ten Hag said: “The start of the season was difficult for him. I was not happy with him, but the last weeks I was happy with him â a better attitude, more resilience, more determination.
“Young kids have to grow and to raise their personality. They have to know what the laws and demands are in top football. You have to fulfil every day the high standards.”
There had previously been concerns about Garnacho after he joined Unitedâs academy from Atletico Madrid two years ago.
One thing that was spotted was him turning up for training with his shoelaces undone.
But the club are more than happy at how he has turned things around.
Ten Hag has already shown that he is a no nonsense boss who is big on discipline.
Recently he axed the clubâs biggest star Cristiano Ronaldo for refusing to come on as a substitute late in the 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.
While Garnacho was born in Madrid, his mother is from Argentina and he was recently called up to train with the national team squad alongside Lionel Messi.
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