Man Utd U21 squad suggests Erik ten Hag has promoted two stars for Brighton clash
Former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag will take charge of his first Premier League fixture on Sunday as Manchester United welcome Graham Potter's Brighton to Old Trafford
Erik ten Hag's side will welcome the Seagulls to Old Trafford for their first Premier League fixture of the season. It's also the Dutchman's first competitive game in charge of the Red Devils since he left Eredivisie champions Ajax in May.
Iqbal and Garnacho missed United's U21 game against Arsenal on Saturday, which finished 3-1 to the Gunners. Charlie Wellens - the son of United academy graduate and EFL legend Richie - opened the scoring before goals from Khayon Edwards, Miguel Azeez and new signing Marquinhos secured the points for the hosts.
Garnacho, 18, has become one of the most exciting youngsters at United since he joined the club from Atletico Madrid in October 2020. Since then he's made his Premier League debut and received his first senior Argentina call up, although he's yet to play.
United fans will remember Garnacho from last season's triumphant FA Youth Cup campaign. The winger was their star player as they won the prestigious tournament, scoring twice against Nottingham Forest in the final. He is their reigning Young Player of the Year.
Garnacho carried on his good form for Argentina's U20s this summer at the Toulon Tournament, also known as the Maurice Revello Tournament. He scored four goals to win the Revelation award, finishing joint-second in the race for the Golden Boot.
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His performances impressed U20s boss Javier Mascherano, the former Liverpool midfielder. "Alejandro is a great player, with a lot of potential to continue growing," he said, as quoted by Ole. "It is clear that by playing in the club he plays for, and above all the importance his club gives him for the future, will depend on him for what he is capable of."
Iqbal, 19, excelled during United's pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia, with many fans calling for his inclusion in the first-team squad. The midfielder, who has won two senior caps for Iraq, made his United debut in the Champions League last season.
Rio Ferdinand was impressed with Iqbal's performances in pre-season. He was also an admirer of Charlie Savage's efforts on tour. Savage, who is the son of Mirror Football columnist Robbie, isn't expected to play against Brighton after featuring for the U21s.
"I've watched the last two pre-season friendlies and the young lads in midfield there - Charlie Savage has been excellent, Zidane’s been very good as well," said Ferdinand in July.
Garnacho has picked many admirers in recent months, with 20 clubs from England, Spain, Germany, Italy and Scotland interested in signing him. These side are hoping United will let Garnacho leave on loan, but he might just be part of Ten Hag's plans.
"We want to give the young players who deserve a chance the opportunity to play," said Ten Hag earlier this month. "He [Garnacho] showed himself during pre-season and that's why he played. He played pretty well and his performance was really good."