Manchester United academy chief Nick Cox has given his verdict on a slew of exits from the club.

Anthony Elanga joined the growing list of Manchester United departures, clinching a move to Nottingham Forest.

It comes amid efforts from United to trim the squad, and more are expected. The notable aspect of Elanga’s exit, is that he is the fourth academy player to be let go.

Charlie Savage, Zidane Iqbal, and Ethan Laird have all been sold after their efforts with the under-21s, each of them along with Elanga, deciding that now was the right time to move on.

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Nick Cox on United exits

Manchester United head of academy Nick Cox has had his say on the four players leaving United.

Posting pictures of Elanga, Savage, Iqbal and Laird on social media, he wrote: “Youth development is about helping everyone to reach their full potential no matter where it takes them.

“These boys (& others) can be proud of their achievements at United. Exciting times ahead – we will follow their progress with interest! Good luck from everyone at MU Academy.”

Charlie Savage knows first-hand through his father that this is just the beginning of his journey. Robbie Savage was released in the mid-90s by United and went onto have a stellar top flight career with more than 600 professional appearances.

Robbie Savage responded on social media: “thank you nick thank you for everything.”

A fifth player, Bjorn Hardley, has also left the academy, following Zidane Iqbal to Utrecht.

United’s high standards

It is not easy for players to make the breakthrough from academy football to first team level, let alone for a team expected to compete at the very top of the Premier League.

Anthony Elanga gave it a good shot, and will continue his development at another Premier League club.

Last season Alejandro Garnacho made the leap, and Kobbie Mainoo looks primed to follow in his footsteps.

Erik ten Hag has insisted that he will sell players to make room for United’s top tier young players to continue to develop.

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