Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had positive words for teenager Anthony Elanga after another impressive performance.
Following a strong substitute performance away at QPR in which he scored from the edge of the box, Elanga was promoted back into Manchester United’s pre-season starting line-up.
Elanga wasted little time making an impact. Just 14 minutes into the game he volleyed Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s cross into the corner of the net.
He showed outstanding poise and technique in a crowded penalty box, and displayed real confidence to even try it.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised Elanga in his post-match interview, praising his attitude and his quality, and dropped a hint he will be utilising the 19-year-old in the first team squad this coming season.
Solskjaer told the club website: “The boy is electric, has energy and enthusiasm, he’s really enjoying himself.
“He’s done himself the world of good. We know he’s a good player, we know he’s a good lad.
“He works so hard, he’s always smiley, bright, asking what more he needs to do, he’s so hungry to improve and get better. He can play wide left, wide right, up front, so anywhere along the front line. He’s going to be an asset.”
After the previous game Solskjaer admitted he was reluctant to send Elanga out on loan because he had seen signs the Sweden under-21 international was already at a first team level.
Elanga is carving out a role
His latest performance underlined that he can be a useful player this season, especially if Marcus Rashford undergoes an operation.
Anthony Martial is still battling back from an injury, and Dan James lacks the explosiveness and unpredictability which Elanga brings.
Indeed with rumours swirling that James is subject of interest from Leeds, Brighton and Burnley, report The Telegraph, United may consider cashing in thanks to Elanga’s progression and a need to raise funds to buy players.
James failed to provide anything of note in his brief appearance as a substitute. We know he can be a useful squad player, but Elanga will end up limiting his opportunities even more if he is kept, as Solskjaer suggests he might be.
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