Manchester United teenage striker Alejandro Garnacho made his first-team debut in Thursday night’s 1-1 Premier League draw against Chelsea.
The 17-year-old was handed his first ever senior appearance in football by Ralf Rangnick and it was a proud moment for his family, who were watching the clash from the directors box at Old Trafford. It was a huge occasion for the promising teenage star to make his debut, with his family clearly emotional and taking video footage of the special moment, with ‘Garnacho 75’ shirts on display.
Marcos Alonso had opened the scoring for the visitors on the hour mark; firing a low effort past David de Gea after being found unmarked inside the United penalty area by a Kai Havertz cross. It was a goal that was a long-time coming for Chelsea, who had dominated the opening hour of chances and enjoyed the lion’s share of possession.
Yet it took just two minutes for United to draw level as the Blues allowed their former midfielder Nemanja Matic time and space on the ball to thread a pass through for Ronaldo, who took a touch before firing a powerful effort into the roof of the net past Edouard Mendy.
Garnacho came on in the final minute of normal time, as he replaced Anthony Elanga in United’s attack for the closing stages. The teenager did not have enough time to make a real impact in the game but the experience will prove to be invaluable for the striker, who is tipped for a bright future in the game.
The striker joined United from Atletico Madrid when he celebrated his 16 th birthday in the summer of 2020, following on from the club’s recruitment drive in Spain – arriving in the same year as teenager Alvaro Fernandez from Real Madrid and Barcelona ’s Marc Jurado.
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Youngster Garnacho was included in a Premier League matchday squad for the first time against Norwich earlier this month, though he remained on the bench as United ground out a win. And, after describing his teammate as the “greatest of all times,” the teenager was rewarded by Ronaldo after the game.
The 17-year-old has featured for United’s under-21s in the Papa John’s Trophy and has been joined in recent matchday squads alongside fellow academy talent Hannibal Mejbri and Alvaro Fernandez. His involvement comes off the back of a starring role in the FA Youth Cup, with Garnacho registering five goals and three assists across five games to help his team reach the final.