Garnacho, Hojlund And Mainoo Are Keeping United Afloat Claims Barnes

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Manchester United secured their third consecutive league victory with a 2-1 win over Aston Villa, narrowing the gap to five points between them and Villa. We spoke with former England star John Barnes to discuss the rumours of Christian Eriksen’s potential return to Brentford, the role of United’s young players in revitalising their season, and the criticism directed at winger Antony.

In this article:

  • Garnacho, Hojlund and Mainoo are keeping United afloat
  • Hojlund isn’t a superstar but has been very impressive
  • Eriksen move back to Brentford backed by Barnes
  • United inconsistency is impacting Antony’s form

United Youngsters Keeping The Team Afloat

Manchester United’s recent improvement in performance has been notably linked to the opportunities given to three of their young talents: Alejandro Garnacho, Rasmus Hojlund, and Kobbie Mainoo. The youngsters have shown exceptional form, sparking excitement among Manchester United fans about their potential to shape the future of the club.

Barnes expressed particular admiration for how Mainoo and Garnacho have played pivotal roles in sustaining United during what has been a challenging second season for manager Erik ten Hag. With Garnacho, Hojlund, and Mainoo in the starting lineup, United have secured victories in five out of the eight games they have played together this season, suffering only one defeat.

“Garnacho and Mainoo are young players with nothing to prove and have been a breath of fresh air. Garnacho is playing more consistently than Antony so he deserves his place.

“The young players have come in at United and done really well. They’re keeping the team afloat right now.”

Hojlund Isn’t A Superstar But Has Been Very Impressive

Recently, Paul Merson made a bold claim, suggesting that striker Rasmus Hojlund could become a superstar at Old Trafford. Despite not scoring in his first 14 Premier League appearances, Hojlund has found the net five times in his last five games. While John Barnes admires the Danish player, he advises caution in labelling Hojlund a superstar too soon.

“Hojlund’s workrate and effort has been very impressive. He’s committed and determined despite how much United have struggled but he never shied away.

“He’s got a hunger to score goals, he holds the ball up well and he’s got good movement. He brings people into play.

“I’m not saying he’s going to be a 30-35 goal a season striker because I don’t know if he’s capable. I don’t think he’s a world superstar striker that will change United. He will rely on the team being stable and creating chances for him.”

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Eriksen Move Back To Brentford Backed By Barnes

Christian Eriksen has been rumoured to be considering a return to Brentford following a challenging second season at Manchester United, marred by injuries. The Danish midfielder has found it difficult to secure a place in Erik ten Hag’s team, even when fit, as the pace of the games has proven demanding. Given Eriksen’s limited playing time at United, a move back to Brentford could be beneficial for him. Brentford manager Thomas Frank has stated he would welcome Eriksen back to the team if he becomes available.

“Eriksen going back to Brentford depends on how much playing time he gets at United. If he’s happy at Man United, why would he leave? Saying that he was happy at Brentford,” says Barnes.

“Thomas Frank knows him and is a fan of him as a player but I don’t know if he suits Brentford because they’re a very high energy, front footed, pressing team. They like hard working midfield players.

“He brings quality and United isn’t necessarily the most harmonious club right now so maybe a move to play more football would be beneficial for him.”

United Inconsistency Is Impacting Antony’s Form

Dwight Yorke recently labelled Antony as merely an “average player,” critiquing Manchester United for having too many similar types of players on long-term contracts. Since his £80 million transfer from Ajax to United two summers ago, the Brazilian has struggled to meet expectations, attracting significant scrutiny from both fans and fellow players. However, John Barnes believes that Antony’s challenges are symptomatic of broader issues facing United, both on and off the field.

“Antony is part of a team that’s inconsistent. He’s not the only player struggling. Would you say Casemiro or Varane are average players? No. They’ve just been an inconsistent team. He’s a good player and that’s why he went to United for all that money.

“At times you can see how good he is but he’s inconsistent just like the team is so I wouldn’t be too critical of him. He’s not an average player, he’s just having a tough time.”

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