12 Mar 2022 | 14:03 | Football
Rangnick talks about Elanga
United have started the season hopeful with three big signings and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has just extended them. After more than half a year, Solskjaer has been fired for a long time and MU is in danger of not being able to attend the continental tournament next season. During that journey, Anthony Elanga appeared and brought hope into the future for the team. Elanga broke through under Solskjaer at the end of last season and continued his path under Rangnick.
Elanga was born in Malmo, Sweden in April 2002, his father is a professional footballer. Joseph played at left-back, was part of the Cameroon team at the 1998 World Cup and was a major influence on Elanga’s career choice.
Elanga’s family moved from Sweden to Manchester when he was 11 years old and after being scouted by both clubs in the city, Elanga joined United at the age of 12. Elanga progressed in the academy system and was included in the Under-18 squad for the 2018/2019 season. That’s when he really started to build a reputation – both on and off the pitch. Elanga followed in the footsteps of Danny Welbeck and Marcus Rashford, winning United’s Young Player of the Year award.
His performance in the massive 6-0 win over Salford City in the EFL Trophy for Under-21s in September 2020 prompted former United defender Gary Neville to compare him to Thierry Henry. It was those performances that helped him take him to the next level under Solskjaer. Elanga switched to training with the first team before the 2020/2021 season and appeared in a pre-season friendly against Aston Villa.
Solskjaer was impressed with what he saw from the young Swedish striker, but it was not until May 2021 that he made his official debut for United, against Leicester. Things could have gone better, but Elanga injured her shoulder in January. However, that injury gave him the motivation to work harder.
Elanga hired a personal trainer and worked harder in the gym to build muscle and fitness. Elanga ended the 2020/2021 season in high form, scoring his first goal against Wolves and was seen as a real part of the first team. When Solskjaer was sacked, Elanga’s future was in doubt. But coach Ralf Rangnick is clearly pleased with this young star.
With Cristiano Ronaldo now 37, Edinson Cavani 35, Anthony Martial sent to Sevilla on loan, Marcus Rashford out of form and Mason Greenwood unavailable, Elanga became the Reds’ fulcrum. The 19-year-old has been involved in each of United’s last 13 games and has scored three goals in 16 appearances this season.
The future is uncertain for United, but it looks almost certainly bright for Elanga.
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