Manchester United’s ongoing struggles may demand a dramatic turnaround, but the solution could be simpler than anticipated. While there are larger issues at play, such as the atmosphere within the dressing room, a lack of technical and tactical quality, and concerns about ownership, subtle adjustments by Erik ten Hag might alleviate some of their recent woes.
For instance, persisting with Bruno Fernandes on the flank is a subject of debate among fans. While the Portuguese maestro is known for his creativity, his transition to the wing has raised questions.
His pace and dynamism, crucial for a winger, don’t align with his qualities. It’s worth noting that during his first full season in England, he operated in an attacking midfield role, amassing an impressive record of 28 goals and 17 assists across all competitions.
Renowned pundit Gary Neville expressed his admiration for Fernandes, highlighting his impact on and off the ball, while Old Trafford legend Roy Keane commended his influence on the entire club. Returning him to his preferred central role might rekindle his spark and motivate the squad.
In this scenario, Alejandro Garnacho, a promising talent, could infuse much-needed dynamism on the right flank. Despite Antony being a considerable investment, his performances since joining the club have been underwhelming. Criticism regarding his lack of speed and ability to beat defenders has emerged. Last season, he contributed just four goals and two assists in the Premier League.
In contrast, Garnacho, often described as an “animal” due to his physical attributes, was impressed with his entertaining style. He was compared to a young Cristiano Ronaldo for his versatility and unpredictability, which won over the crowd.
Despite his youth and limited experience, the 19-year-old managed 12 goal contributions across all competitions, just one shy of Antony’s tally.
Introducing Garnacho to the starting lineup would provide the team with the raw pace and trickery needed to unsettle defenders, while allowing Fernandes to return to his preferred role, potentially steering Manchester United back on track at Old Trafford.