Anthony Elanga was called into Manchester United’s squad for Ralf Rangnick’s first match as interim manager.
Elanga made it off the bench as United chased a win, to make his first Premier League appearance of the season.
This may not have been possible without a little misfortune for two of his teammates.
Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard were both notable absentees from the matchday squad.
Speaking to the club website, Rangnick explained it was fitness related. He said that the pair “felt pain” in the training session before the game. Both players had been pictured with Rangnick as the team prepared for the game.
This was a shame for both players, who each came off the bench on Thursday in United’s 3-2 win over Arsenal.
The Palace game came on Anthony Martial’s 26th birthday, which he celebrated with his family as he sat out the win over the Eagles.
The extent of Martial or Lingard’s injuries are unclear, and they will be hoping to be back for Wednesday’s Champions League game against Young Boys.
United have already qualified and top the group, so there is a chance for plenty of rotation and a chance for Ralf Rangnick to take a look at players who are yet to feature under him.
Martial was name checked by Rangnick in his opening press conference, quoted by The MEN describing the forward as a ‘top player’ along with his other forward options.
United also have Edinson Cavani due to return from injury. The Uruguayan returned to light training last week and there is an outside chance he will be in contention to feature this week.
Lingard’s chances may depend on his mindset. His future at United is unclear, with his contract expiring and clubs circling for a January move. If he cannot convince Rangnick he is fully committed, then he may struggle for game time when he is fit again.
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