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Erik ten Hag tells Kobbie Mainoo and Daniel Gore to follow Alejandro Garnacho’s footsteps

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has sent a message to the club academy players who want to be part of his first-team plans next term.

Kobbie Mainoo and Daniel Gore were named Manchester United’s U18 and U21 players of the year, respectively, for the 2022/23 season.

Ten Hag admitted that he is impressed with the young duo but told them to follow Alejandro Garnacho’s footsteps if they want to play in the first team.

He said (via “Yeah, Mainoo and Gore did well [in first-team training]. They deserved it and that is always what has to be the case.

“Like Alejandro Garnacho, [who won the Jimmy Murphy award] last season, you see the path is open but they have to deserve their position.

“I hope this trophy will motivate them and stimulate them to bring more because that is necessary if you want to get a place in the first team, the first squad, of this club.”

Alejandro Garnacho has broken the first-team door open in style

Garnacho has shown that age is no barrier if a player has the talent and passion to play for Man United.

The 18-year-old has established himself as a pivotal attacking weapon for Ten Hag. His cameos have been impactful and rewarding to the team. 

Garnacho has lit up Old Trafford this season with his breakneck pace and late goals. He has rightly earned the plaudits from United supporters and the manager.

When comparing Mainoo and Gore, the former is much closer to getting opportunities in the first team.

He has featured three times this season, including making his full debut against Charlton Athletic in the Carabao Cup.

Many people thought Zidane Iqbal was ahead of Mainoo in the pecking order, but the 20-year-old has not played a single minute in the first team this season.

Ten Hag is known for developing youth players and Mainoo could be the next one on his list.

The Stockport-born England youth international could feature against Fulham in the final league game of the season later today.