Europa league: Alejandro Garnacho shines bright at Manchester united

“I don’t know if it’s real or if I’m dreaming.”

That was 18-year-old Alejandro Garnacho’s reaction after making his full Manchester United debut against Sheriff Tiraspol last week.

The teenager received a standing ovation from the majority of those inside Old Trafford when he was substituted late on in the 3-0 win. Seven days later, the United fans who travelled to watch their side face Real Sociedad will find it even more difficult to hide their excitement.

Although Garnacho’s match-winning goal in San Sebastian was not enough for United to win their Europa League group, the young Argentine produced another promising performance on his second senior start – against much better opposition.

His expert control and fine finish in the 17th minute illustrated his quality in the final third, while his confidence in possession, willingness to drive at opponents and unpredictable skills gave United a different dimension going forward.

“I am really happy and I hope he can keep it going,” Ten Hag said of Garnacho, who is now the club’s youngest non-English goalscorer in European competition.

He might be a raw talent, but the early signs suggest he has the potential to become a world-class winger. Under the guidance of Ten Hag, that outcome is a distinct possibility.