Anthony Elanga’s rise into the Man United first-team is no fluke.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hasn’t shied away from giving young players their chance at Manchester United. Just ask Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams all about that.
As the old saying goes, if you’re good enough, you’re old enough. The date in which you were born makes no jot of difference to the Baby Faced Assassin.
The latest example of that comes in the form of Anthony Elanga. The Swede, who made his first-team debut at the back end of last term, was expected to feature heavily six months prior. Sadly, a serious injury ended those dreams.
However, a goal against Wolverhampton Wanderers on the final day gave us a glimpse into what Elanga can offer. The winger is already proving that was no accident during this pre-season, where he has been the standout in our first few games.
Make no mistake about it, the exciting 19-year-old is proving exactly why he’s already good enough to make his first-team mark at Man United on a permanent basis.
First and foremost, I’d like to talk about Elanga’s versatility. This is a young man who can play all across the front three. Be it either wing or directly through the middle, Solskjaer has someone who can perform at an incredibly high level across numerous positions. What’s not to like about that?
We’ve seen it on full show already, but give Elanga even half a chance and he’ll take it. The Swede can score off either foot, while also being a threat in the air as he showed against Wolves, leaping high to score his first Premier League goal.
Although still so young in age, Elanga plays with a real maturity beyond his years. He’s already developed that footballing brain, consistently making the right tactical decision with the ball at his feet. Trust me when I say that aspect of his game shouldn’t be overlooked.
The competition for Elanga has become a little fiercer with the addition of Jadon Sancho. However, with Marcus Rashford set to miss the first few months of the season, there’s a hole that needs to be filled.
Already, I’d have Elanga on a level pegging with the likes of Daniel James. I also think Solskjaer would prefer to utilise his pace out wide over, say, Juan Mata.
Sure, it may be tough to usurp Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho from the wide areas to start the campaign. However, those guys won’t be forced into starting every single match and Solskjaer will want to change it. As of right now, Elanga is third or fourth choice at worst. That’s a very handy position to be in.
Given any sort of an opportunity, you can bet that Elanga will grasp that chance with both hands. He’s a determined young man ready to make his mark. Don’t be surprised to see the Swede rise to prominence over the next twelve months.
Is Anthony Elanga already set to make his mark in the first-team this season? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.