Premier League

Ten Hag frustrated as ‘really good’ Man Utd starlet is ruled out with ‘serious’ ankle injury

Erik ten Hag and Alejandro Garnacho during a game

Erik ten Hag is not happy after Alejandro Garnacho sustained a “serious” ankle injury during Manchester United’s Premier League match against Southampton.

The 18-year-old was left writhing in pain following a challenge by Kyle Walker-Peters in Sunday’s 0-0 draw but played on for seven minutes after receiving treatment.

Ten Hag initially downplayed concerns about the severity of the issue despite Garnacho being seen leaving Old Trafford on crutches with his right foot in a protective boot.

The teenager said on Tuesday he would “not be able to help my team and team-mates in the upcoming games” due to ankle ligament damage that rules him out of Argentina duty this month.

Garnacho misses the Red Devils’ final two matches before the international break but Ten Hag hopes he still has a big part to play as they attempt to add the Europa League and FA Cup to their Carabao Cup triumph.

“I can’t say exactly (what the timescale is) at this moment but it will take weeks, so it’s a serious injury,” Ten Hag said.

“I didn’t expect (that) but a foul, a serious injury once again after Christian Eriksen (after a tackle by Reading’s Andy Carroll). We have a serious injury after contact.

“Of course it’s difficult. He makes great progression and he was selected by the national team.

“It was a big moment for him and he’s in a really good development and you don’t want to disturb that process.

“Now we have to step away from it but he will be back for the end of the season.

“So, what he has to do now is deal with it, deal with the setback and then work, invest to get back before the end of the season because (at the) end of the season, we can win a lot. So, he has to be ready to get back as soon as possible.”

Ten Hag fumed about “inconsistent” officiating on Sunday, with Casemiro’s second red card in five weeks compounding several rejected penalty appeals against Southampton.

The injury to Garnacho particularly irked the United boss, who already lost key midfielder Eriksen to a poor tackle by Reading striker Carroll in January’s FA Cup fourth-round tie.

“We have the injuries and we have the red cards,” he said with a despairing laugh. “What is the combination, eh?

“We have had some talks with (the refereeing bodies), yeah, but it’s not about the referee. It’s about us.

“We have to bring our performance and we have to focus on that.”

United are understood, like all clubs, to have an ongoing dialogue with the…

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