Maguire challenges Anthony Elanga to "kick on" after first team breakthrough

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire will be pushing youngster Anthony Elanga to “kick on” following his breakthrough into the first team.

After impressing interim boss Ralf Rangnick in training, Elanga has started three Premier League games in a row for the first time in his burgeoning career.

The 19-year-old scored opened the scoring at the Brentford Community Stadium with a header after controlling a pass fizzed into him by Fred.

Following his crucial goal against the Bees, the Swedish under-21 international was rewarded with his first Premier League start at Old Trafford, which came in the 1-0 win against West Ham on Saturday.

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Keen to keep the club’s young players grounded and hungry, Maguire has revealed he regularly talks to the youngsters to help them deal with the pressure of representing the Red Devils.

When asked about Elanga’s recent breakthrough into the first team, Maguire told the club’s official website: “That’s what this club is about and what it’s been about for numerous years now, we bring through young talent and people get opportunities.

“Anthony has broken into the team in the last couple of games and he’s done really well and should be really proud of himself. You’ve obviously got Marcus [Rashford], who is established, and Mason, who is growing and growing and getting better and better.

“It’s what this club is about, it brings through talented footballers and if you’re talented enough then you’ll get an opportunity to play and that’s what happened with Anthony.”

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United’s number five has challenged the teenager to use his emergence in Rangnick’s side as a “stepping stone”.

The former Leicester City man added: “Anthony has done really well and he should be proud of himself and I’m sure his family is really proud.

“Now it’s a marker and a stepping stone and can he really kick on? He has all the talent in the world to do that.

“Of course, myself and the senior lads will be pushing him and others, and that’s what we want – we want these young players to come in and bring energy and intensity, and help improve us as a squad.

“We’re all here to win football matches and the better players we have in the squad then the more competition there is and the more opportunities we have to win games.”

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

With Anthony Martial joining Sevilla on loan for the remainder of the campaign and both Jesse Lingard and Donny van de Beek possibly leaving before the January transfer window closes, Elanga is likely to get a lot more first team minutes under Rangnick.

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