Marcus Rashford’s shoulder surgery is an untimely but necessary one for Manchester United.

It is in Rashford’s best interests to get the surgery done and United have the cover to fill his position on the left.

Jadon Sancho, Dan James and Anthony Martial can all play in the position, but the biggest winner could be Anthony Elanga.

Manchester United Pre-Season Training Session
(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Chance to shine

Elanga is a natural fit in the role. Like Rashford he can play up front as a striker but his best position is out wide, allowing him to use his rapid pace and counter attacking ability.

The teenager netted 10 goals last season for the under-23s and scored for the first team on the last day of the campaign against Wolves.

Elanga, 19, is ready for this opportunity and most importantly, he is in pole position to seize the chance.

Martial and James are not yet back at pre-season and Sancho has not joined up yet either.

 

Elanga will get an early opportunity to stake a claim for a first team in a similar way to how Mason Greenwood did in 2019.

The Sweden under-21 international was on the fringes of the side before and is still a contender to go out on loan. A strong pre-season can change that.

Rashford’s surgery changes the situation too. It makes sense for United to keep Elanga while the England star is out if he can impress and show he is first-team ready.

Elanga has been putting in the hard work in the off season to show he is ready to make the step up.

Elanga ended last season with five goals in five games in all competitions for United, the under-23s, and Sweden’s under-21 side.

The 19-year-old needed a bit of fortune to move up the queue at United and Rashford’s bad luck can become his big break.

Rashford will appreciate this. After all, it was due to an injury crisis back in 2016 which saw him get his big chance in the first place. Now his upcoming operation could open the path for Elanga to become a star.

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