Opinion: Is Man United’s Garnacho the new Ronaldo or another Macheda?

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You seemingly can’t go anywhere near Old Trafford these days without hearing a mention of Man United’s exciting young talent, Alejandro Garnacho.

The 18-year-old has certainly sent pulses racing amongst the United faithful who are ready to anoint the youngster as the new darling of the terraces.

Though we’ve been here before haven’t we?

With Cristiano Ronaldo having departed in disgrace, it’s perhaps no surprise that Garnacho might be seen as his replacement by certain sections of the fan base, particularly if he continues to be the dazzling and uninhibited winger they’ve come to know and love.

However, it was only a decade or so ago when another talented teen burst onto the scene, coincidentally playing alongside Ronaldo, and who was hailed as another potential world-class star.

Federico Macheda is perhaps best remembered for his debut stunner to win a classic against Aston Villa 3-2. Thereafter, he appeared to vanish without trace.

Now aged 31, the player is on loan at APOEL after various stints at clubs including QPR, Notts Forest, Birmingham and Doncaster Rovers.

Alejandro Garnacho mocks Barcelona’s Pedri

His fall from grace should certainly be a lesson in humility for Garnacho, who took great delight in mocking Barcelona star Pedri’s iconic goal celebration as United knocked the Catalans out of the Europa League.

Indeed, for a player that only has five goals and six assists in 30 appearances during the 22/23 campaign per Transfermarkt, he’d be well advised to get his head down and work because drifting back into obscurity can happen overnight.

If he’s prepared to do that, there’s an outside chance he could reach somewhere near the levels of consistency that the Portuguese routinely displayed.

If not, he’ll just become another example of ‘what might’ve been.’

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