Alejandro Garnacho is proving to be one of the best young talents that Old Trafford has seen in recent years, however, he might not have signed thanks to a United family dispute.
Finding the back of the net twice against West Ham in a 3-0 victory on Sunday, Garnacho never fails to bring joy and excitement to those in the stands when he steps foot on the pitch.
However, according to Nick Cox, the Head of United’s Academy, these positive emotions could have been robbed from The Reds faithful even before they had the chance to materialise thanks to his two sons.
Garnacho first caught the attention of United’s scouts during the Covid pandemic when he was 16, and understandably, he stood out from the rest. Speaking to The Sun, Cox explained how the teenager fit their scouting criteria perfectly.
“Our recruitment team profiled all the wide players of that age across Europe, comparing the talents and trying to identify which talent would be the one who would be the best fit for us as a football club.
“Alejandro would have been at the top of that list. Gerardo Guzman our academy scout in Spain, put Alejandro forward as the best talent available in Spain.”
Eager to snap up such a highly rated talent, United quickly took action and arranged meetings with Garnacho and his family, but because of the travelling restrictions surrounding the global pandemic at the time, the club’s usual tried and tested methods to entice a young star, a tour around Manchester United, was a non-starter.
Instead Cox had to do something that became synonymous with the pandemic and do the meeting with the youngster online. However, as comes part and parcel with working from home the Head of Academy had to deal with bickering family members.
“I had to do that from my spare bedroom via video call, using a translator,” said Cox.
“My boys at the time would have been 14 and 10, and I remember vividly that they were arguing with each other while I was trying to sign Alejandro.
“I still tell my boys now, had that argument rumbled on much longer, then we probably wouldn’t have Alejandro Garnacho at Manchester United!”
Although the impact of the pandemic was initially hard on Garnacho, affecting his English lessons and smooth integration into the Academy squad, the 19-year-old is now an integral member of Ten Hag’s side, and not many can argue otherwise.
Had Garnacho been discouraged by brotherly squabbles, United would be a completely different team for the worst, and the winger would have been added to the list of potentially generational talents that slipped through the cracks.
Thankfully, the brothers stopped arguing when they did because a world without Alejandro Garnacho at the club would be very bleak.
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