Manchester United vice-captain Bruno Fernandes has revealed why he is so reluctant to praise teammate Alejandro Garnacho.
After missing eight weeks through injury, Garnacho finally returned to first-team action for United on Saturday in their 2-0 win over Wolves.
Brought on in the 81st minute, Garnacho sealed victory with his fifth goal for the club after being set up by Fernandes.
The return of the Argentine is a welcome boost for United manager Erik ten Hag as the season enters its final weeks.
Garnacho committed his future to United last month by signing a new five-year deal amid reported interest from Real Madrid.
After penning his new contract, Garnacho paid tribute to United’s senior players for keeping him grounded.
Fernandes, in particular, has become a mentor to the teenager, offering him advice and also highlighting potential problems for the youngster to address.
Speaking after Garnacho scored his debut goal for the club against Real Sociedad earlier this season, Fernandes revealed Garnacho’s issues in pre-season – saying he “didn’t have the best attitude” while on tour.
Fernandes has continued to keep a watchful eye on Garnacho and has limited his praise for the youngster.
Explaining his cautious approach, Fernandes said: “What I have to say to Garna, I say to him at the training ground, whenever we’re eating, wherever.
“If he wants to hear, he hears. If not, he doesn’t, but I try to help. I think he did an interview talking about me trying to help him a lot of times, and that’s what I’m trying to do.
“Obviously, he’s still young, and I don’t want to give too much compliments, because, you know, when you’re young and you get too many compliments, you can get a little bit relaxed and everything.
“But I think if he wasn’t doing what he needed to do, he wouldn’t be playing.”
Fernandes praises Ten Hag over Garnacho treatment
Fernandes acknowledged the impressive way Erik ten Hag has handled Garnacho over the course of the campaign.
“At the beginning of the season, the manager didn’t give him many chances, because he thought that he wasn’t being the best he could,” said Fernandes.
“Now he’s getting his chances and playing a lot this season because he’s training well and doing what he has to do.
“He’s getting his rewards and the team are getting the rewards as well – and that’s the most important thing. Obviously, he was already very good playing for the youth team, but it’s a big difference playing in the Premier League.
“He’s training every day with us, which makes him more prepared for the games. Mentally he’s much better also and I think he understands what it takes to be a professional player.
“We know he can change games, he plays with pace, he can take players on, but he’s still developing, so we don’t have to put too much on him, because he’s still a young kid.
“He can do great things, but in the future, he has to do much better than he is actually doing, because he has the capabilities to be even better.”