Lindelof backs 'top talent' Anthony Elanga to shine for United and Sweden

Victor Lindelof believes his compatriot Anthony Elanga possesses the talent to have a big future for Manchester United and Sweden.

The pair both started the Reds’ 2-2 draw against Aston Villa on Saturday, which saw Elanga come in for high praise from Bruno Fernandes and interim boss Ralf Rangnick, following an impressive performance.

With Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford ruled out, Anthony Martial seemingly heading for the exit door and Jadon Sancho struggling for consistency, Elanga grasped his opportunity to impress.

Fresh after making his first Premier League start of the season, the Swedish under-21 international will be hoping to make it back-to-back top-flight starts for the first time in his career, at Brentford on Wednesday.

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With seven goals from eight under-21 appearances for the national side, Elanga will already have caught the attention of the senior team, which is captained by Lindelof.

But having impressed Rangnick at Carrington, the 19-year-old has the chance to kick on and earn more senior minutes at club level, as he pulls away from academy football.

Lindelof has sung Elanga’s praises and his desire to keep on improving.

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Speaking to the club’s official website, United’s number two said: “Of course, I talk to him a lot. He’s a great talent and I’m very happy for him, getting more and more minutes at the club.

“He’s a young player, a good talent, who comes in here every day and really wants to improve his game. He works very, very hard and I’m pleased for him.

“If he keeps doing the things he’s doing at the moment, I think he’s going to have a great future ahead of him. It’s all about staying humble and to keep working hard.”

With crucial World Cup play-offs looming in March for Sweden, Lindelof didn’t rule out Elanga forcing himself into the national side, if he continues to impress at Manchester United.

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The ‘Iceman’ added: “Maybe, in the future, we’ll see. We have quite a lot of young, exciting players coming up in Sweden at the moment.

“It’s a very, very positive thing obviously for me, being captain, as it’s always nice to see that – having young players getting into the team.

“To be honest, I don’t read that much [of any press coverage in Sweden about Elanga]. Obviously, if you’re at United and young and Swedish, of course there is a lot of talk about you as a player.

“Yeah, I think, like I said, he’s a top talent who, if he keeps doing the things he’s doing at the moment, he can have a bright future ahead of him. It’s nice to have him at the club as well and I’m trying to help him in any way I can.”

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Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.