With Marcus Rashford toiling and struggling on the pitch, it would be the perfect time for a new hero to step up.

Step forward Anthony Elanga, who was a breath of fresh air in his late cameo in the win over Aston Villa.

Manchester United fans were left enthused by Elanga’s performance, and they were not the only ones.

Manchester United v Aston Villa: The Emirates FA Cup Third Round
(Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Elanga is proving to be an inspiration for the current crop of Manchester United academy talent, who themselves dream of a breakthrough.

RONALDO NEEDS TO STOP WHINING.

The responses to Elanga’s Instagram post were very telling, with the likes of loanee James Garner replying, along with under-23 strikers Charlie McNeill and Alejandro Garnacho.

Martin Svidersky, Alvaro Carreras, Finley McAllister, Sam Mather and Kobbie Mainoo all also commended Elanga on his first team contribution.

Elanga leads talented group

It was back in 2019 when Mason Greenwood broke into Manchester United’s first team as a regular.

Despite former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer going onto give debuts to a number of other young players, only Brandon Williams came close to joining him, and he now finds himself out on loan.

Now in 2022, another crop of talent is pushing on, with the likes of Charlie McNeill and Alejandro Garnacho leading the way.

They will get a chance to continue their development in the FA Youth Cup on Thursday night away at Reading after beating Scunthorpe 4-2 at Old Trafford in December.

Some of these players, McNeill and Alvaro included, have shared a pitch at under-23 level with Anthony Elanga and will be inspired by his rise to the top.

The demands at United are high, and they never let up, as Rashford is experiencing himself right now. But the very best players make it through.

Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
(Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Elanga, 19, is clearly well liked among United’s academy players, and previous comments from Bruno Fernandes show how well respected he is by the first team set up too.

With a new manager in charge, Elanga has an important role in showing the benefits of the academy. If he is a first team success under Ralf Rangnick, then it will play a part in opening doors for more young players at the club between now and the end of the season.

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