Manchester United have awarded the club’s prestigious Jimmy Murphy Player of the Year accolade to rapidly emerging 17-year-old talent Alejandro Garnacho.
The youngster has earned huge plaudits in helping United reach a first FA Youth Cup final in 11 years and was even called into Argentina’s senior national team squad in March. He was named on the first-team bench for several games before making a debut against Chelsea recently.
Garnacho qualifies for Argentina through his mother but was born in Spain and joined United’s youth ranks from Atletico Madrid in the autumn of 2020.
“Alejandro has shown great determination from the day that he arrived here from Spain, in the middle of a pandemic. He has adapted extremely well to life in Manchester and continues to improve on the pitch every day,” academy head Nick Cox told the club’s official website.
“Making his first-team debut last month was the culmination of a great deal of hard work from Alejandro himself, his family and a dedicated group of academy staff. The call-up that he received from Argentina is another fantastic indicator of the progress he has made this season.
“He remains grounded considering all that he has achieved this year and we know that he will continue to grow within our youth development system.”
Former winners of the Jimmy Murphy award, named for the legendary former assistant manager, include Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Phil Neville, Wes Brown, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Elanga.
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United have also named 19-year-old Spanish full-back Alvaro Fernandez as winner of the Denzil Haroun Reserve Team Player of the Year award as a member of the Under-23 squad.
“Alvaro has developed a lot this season, playing an important role in Premier League 2, the Youth League, the EFL Trophy and also progressing with Spain’s Under-19s,” Cox said.
“Alvaro has also been an excellent role model and support for his teammates, displaying all of the characteristics that the Academy want to see from our young players.”
Fernandez has also trained regularly with the first-team in recent weeks and was on the bench for the first time against Chelsea when Garnacho made his debut.