Anthony Martial’s recent injury may have paved the way for Anthony Elanga to start in the opening game of the season.
With just a few days to go until Manchester United’s opening match of the season, Anthony Martial has thrown a real spanner in the works as he picked up an injury.
The Frenchman has suffered a hamstring problem, meaning he has been ruled out of this game. It’s unclear whether Martial will be available to take on Brentford the following weekend.
Understandably, all the talk has been about who’ll replace Martial in the side. United are incredibly thin on the ground up top, so there are only a few possible options. All come with a caveat…
First you have Alejandro Garnacho who is the true wildcard. I don’t believe Erik ten Hag would throw him straight into the fire like that.
Next, Cristiano Ronaldo. He has very little minutes under his belt in pre-season, though he always keeps himself in tip-top shape so this is a genuine option.
Finally, Anthony Elanga. The Swede has absolutely disappointed during pre-season tour. However, he knows the system, has played frequently over the least few weeks and will be keen to make his mark.
According to The Telegraph, it now seems more ‘likely’ that Ten Hag will involve the young winger Elanga in this one. Apparently, that’d mean switching Marcus Rashford to the centre-forward role, with Elanga playing off the right and Jadon Sancho starting off the left.
Again, this just highlights the lack of depth United have. I like Elanga. I genuinely believe he could be a great player in the future. However, he’s nowhere near the finished article and having him start on a regular basis isn’t an ideal scenario at this point in time.
For what it’s worth, this is the way I’d play it. Ronaldo shouldn’t walk back into the team after spending the summer trying to leave, while it’d be unfair on Garnacho to throw him into that situation with the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Do you think Anthony Elanga is good enough for Man United? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.