Barcelona warned of Manchester United weapon ahead of Europa League playoff

Barcelona are preparing for their return to European action on Thursday. Although it is the Europa League playoff round, it could scarcely be a bigger tie in terms of prestige, with Manchester United travelling to Camp Nou.

It also highlights the changing of the guard at both clubs though, as both Erik ten Hag and Xavi Hernandez attempt to return their sides to former glories. The knockout between the two will go a long way to earning them credit with their fanbases depending on how it pans out.

The Blaugrana will have to be wary of more well-known threats like Bruno Fernandes or Marcus Rashford, but they will also have to pay attention to Alejandro Garnacho off the bench too. Formerly of Atletico Madrid, Garnacho has already trained with Lionel Messi and the senior Argentina side. According to Marca, no player in the Premier League has been more productive off the bench than Garnacho, who has scored twice and assisted twice after coming on.

“He has an ability that I don’t see many players in the Premier League have: he beats the players one on one.,” ten Hag highlighted.

“He has learned in the last few months how to play as part of a team, how to live, how to have the right attitude… Now I see that he is acting like a team player and his individual qualities are making the difference. It’s a process, he’s not the finished product yet, but he has a lot of room for improvement. Despite this, he already contributes at the highest level.”

Barcelona’s defence has been their strong point of late, securing 15 clean sheets in 21 matches in La Liga this season. That is despite conceding in all of their Champions League matches in the group stage. A large part of the Blaugrana’s success in this tie will be transferring that solidity to Europe, and Garnacho’s game-breaking off the bench might be one of the larger obstacles.

Tags Alejandro Garnacho Barcelona Europa League Manchester United
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