Bruno Fernandes believes Manchester United teenager Alejandro Garnacho has the potential to become “something special in the world of football”.
Acquired from Atletico Madrid in 2020, the 19-year-old forward starred in last year’s FA Youth Cup triumph and has gone on to establish himself as a first-team regular at Old Trafford.
Garnacho enjoyed the finest moment of his nascent career at Everton on Sunday, showing outstanding ingenuity and technique to thunder home an outrageous overhead kick just 133 seconds into a 3-0 win.
The Argentina international followed his jaw-dropping goal-of-the-season contender by replicating former United great Cristiano Ronaldo’s celebration after an effort his idol would have been more than proud of.
“It’s amazing – something out of this world, I think,” United captain Fernandes told the PA news agency.
“Probably he’s watching too much Cristiano clips! We all know that he’s a big fan. Still a long way for him to be like Cristiano but he’s getting his steps.
“He wants to be something special in the world of football and I think he has the capability to do that, but he has to do more than that goal!”
Garnacho was not the only impressive teenager at Goodison Park on Sunday, with fellow FA Youth Cup winner Kobbie Mainoo flourishing on his first Premier League start.
The 18-year-old midfielder recently recovered from the injury he sustained during United’s pre-season tour and produced a performance that belied his tender years.
“I talk always about Kobbie,” Fernandes said. “I think he’s a special player too.
“Obviously, people will not talk as much as they will about Garnacho because Garnacho scores goals, does assists and everything. But what he puts on the game, what he gives to the team, it’s known to anyone (in the squad).
“I think he has great players in front of him to learn (from) because he plays with one of the best in the world like Casemiro. Also Sofyan (Amrabat) who plays in that position that is really good and he’s getting everything from them.
“He wants to learn, is eager to learn and I think that’s probably the best capability he has because he wants to learn every time. He’s eager to listen to everyone to get better and better.”
United’s young stars stepped up in the absence of a swathe of injured players, with the likes of Garnacho and Mainoo helping to invigorate the experienced core.
Asked what he thought of the young players coming through as one of the older players, 29-year-old Fernandes said with a laugh: “I’m not that old, eh?
“Obviously, we are really happy for them. We know that all the young players are eager to play and to get your position, so me as an older one I have to step up and do my job! If not, they’re going to take my space.”
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial goals complemented Garnacho’s stunner in an eye-catching win that Erik ten Hag’s team need to build on against Galatasaray in the Champions League.
As for Everton, they travel to Nottingham Forest next weekend looking to bounce back from a heavy home loss after the shock of being deducted 10 points.
Toffees boss Sean Dyche said: “We have created a lot of chances this season but not always scored goals. We have to maintain our belief in what we are doing. We are doing that, I think we did through this game.”