Three reasons Anthony Elanga is so good and deserves to keep his spot

Anthony Elanga is a special talent and he is seizing his spot in the Manchester United first team.

The youngster is flourishing, scoring United’s opening goal against Brentford to turn the tide in a tricky away game.

Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

He now has two goals in four career first team starts for the club, also netting against Wolves at the end of last season.

Elanga is now in contention to start a third league game in a row when United host West Ham this weekend, and he deserves to keep his place.


Here is a look at three reasons why the young forward is so special…

Movement off the ball

Elanga’s movement created his goal to break the deadlock. While starting the game on the left wing, his goal came with a well timed run into the centre of the box.

His goal in pre-season against Brentford came from a similar circumstance, when he drifted into the centre to get on the end of a cross.

You will typically see this during games. Elanga is not stationary on the left, he drifts out to the right on occasions, posing questions of defenders.

This is not aimless wandering, this is Elanga sensing danger and getting into situations where he can exploit it, and defensively he is more than happy to fill in and do the work.

Pace and unpredictability

Elanga’s speed means defenders cannot relax around him, even when they look better placed to win the ball. And when he gets the ball and starts running at defenders, it gets really dangerous.

The youngster is quick with both feet, a good dribbler, and he is good in the air, and this combination makes him very unpredictable for defenders.

Combine his speed with his clever movement too, and United’s attack suddenly looks a lot better with him in it. It has not happened yet, but when United are able to set him free on a counter attack, he has the pace and composure to take advantage.

Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Determination and attitude

Part of what makes Elanga so polished is his attitude. He has not yet been worn down by the pressures and failures some of his Manchester United teammates have.

Perhaps this will hit him too at some stage, but right now he is playing with a freedom and confidence the team really needs.

His determination to fight for every ball really suits United’s forward line, and this was key to him scoring his goal, winning the first ball and then scoring the ensuing header.

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