World Cup break 'a danger' for Garnacho – Ten Hag

The World Cup break is "a danger" for Alejandro Garnacho as the rising star's momentum could be stifled, according to Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag.

Garnacho struck a 93rd-minute winner as a second-half substitute to rescue United a 2-1 victory in Sunday's Premier League contest with Fulham at Craven Cottage.

The Argentina Under-20 international, who is not part of Lionel Scaloni's senior squad for Qatar 2022, now has two goals and two assists in his past four appearances.

While impressed by the youngster's form, Ten Hag is worried five weeks without playing a competitive match could work against Garnacho.

"It is still a long way to go. He has to keep his feet on the ground – it’s the whole team now," Ten Hag said.

"He has to do much more investment as he'll be recognisable for everyone, so it’s much more important to every time confirm it, big players know that, young players don't know.

"Now it's a four-week break, that's already a danger for him because now has momentum. It's good in the season and let's see how he's coming back.

"We have to manage that, manage that with him. His attitude is good and I'm certain he will have an impact. The danger is four weeks, no games, lose focus, less investment.

"It's only when he stays with the same attitude he's shown the last three, four or five weeks that his progress will keep going. If not it goes the other way."

Alejandro Garnacho
Alejandro Garnacho

At 18 years and 135 days, Garnacho is the youngest player to net a 90th-minute Premier League winner since Federico Macheda for United against Aston Villa in April 2009.

Daniel James earlier cancelled out Christian Eriksen's opener, making him the 10th different player to score against United in the competition having previously played for them.

United's hard-fought victory in south London was overshadowed later on Sunday when Cristiano Ronaldo revealed in an interview he feels "betrayed" by the club.

Ronaldo has sat out United's past two matches through illness, but Ten Hag expects the superstar forward to be fit in time for Portugal's upcoming World Cup campaign.

Ten Hag, speaking ahead of the Ronaldo interview being released, said: "He's ill, but I don't think it's bad and we are confident [he'll make the World Cup."

United face Burnley in the EFL Cup fourth round on their return to action on December 19, before hosting Nottingham Forest in the league eight days later.