Manchester United youngster Alejandro Garnacho has been called into an injury-hit first-team squad for Saturday’s Premier League clash against Norwich.
United welcome the doomed Canaries to Old Trafford, desperate for a what would only be a second win in all competitions since 20 February.
Ralf Rangnick is without several important first-team players for this one. Raphael Varane, Fred, Scott McTominay and Luke Shaw are all missing, as is veteran striker Edinson Cavani.
Those absences have left holes in the squad and both Garnacho, who is just 17 but has made a name for himself already at youth level this season, and fellow teenager Hannibal Mejbri were pictured arriving at the club’s usual pre-match hotel in Salford on Friday afternoon.
The Manchester Evening News has listed 19 confirmed names for the squad to face Norwich – clubs can have up to nine substitutes – which suggests that both teenagers are at least guaranteed a place on the bench, rather than simply travelling with the seniors for matchday experience.
Hannibal, who joined United from Monaco three years ago, has been highly rated for some time and the Tunisia international has been training with the first-team since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations. He made his debut last season and has been on the bench a few time in recent weeks, including last time out against Everton, as well as against Manchester City and Atletico Madrid.
But for Garnacho, Saturday promises to be a first time even getting on the bench, which gives the young Argentine an outside chance of making his debut.
Already called up to the senior Argentina squad last month, he made the switch to Manchester from Atletico Madrid’s youth ranks last summer and has been making waves at academy level – that includes recently inspiring United to a first FA Youth Cup final in 11 years.
The club continues to extend an incredible record of naming at least one player developed by the academy in every matchday squad since October 1937 – 84 years, six months and counting.