The race to secure the commitment of future stars is not just a phenomenon local to club football, but international football these days too.
Alejandro Garnacho is very much at the centre of this issue. The 17-yeaar-old made his debut for Manchester United on Thursday evening as they played out a 1-1 draw with Chelsea. Coming on in the 90th minute for Anthony Elanga, many have touted him for a brilliant career.
That seems to be the way that Spain and Argentina see it at least. Garnacho was born in Madrid and came through at Atletico Madrid’s academy before making the switch to Manchester two seasons ago. However, he does have Argentine parents.
La Roja called him up for their under 18 side in 2021, as per Diario AS, where he played several games. Yet during the March international break Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni called him up to the preliminary squad to train with the senior team.
No doubt training with Lionel Messi is one way to entice a player into coming back to play for you. In the past Spain have been quick to call up players to ensure that they play for Spain, with the likes of Bojan Krkic, Ansu Fati and Munir El Haddadi all receiving call ups in their teenage years, all having the possibility of playing for other nations.
The most recent case is Ez Abde, who rejected a call into the Morocco squad for the African Cup of Nations in January, reportedly with the option of playing for Spain. Since, Abde accepted another call-up to the Morocco squad in March, although has yet to be capped.