Anthony Elanga is likely to be included in the Manchester United squad for the Red Devils’ Europa League quarter-final tie with Spanish side Granada.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been using the competition as an opportunity to give valuable game time to some of the young stars at Old Trafford, meaning the 18-year-old can be hopeful a senior debut for the club is on the horizon.
Manchester United Squad Includes Anthony Elanga for Europa League Clash
Youngster Has Recovered From Collarbone Injury
Youth has been a key narrative within Manchester United’s Europa League journey so far. Having dropped out of the Champions League in disappointing circumstances earlier this season, the competition has been used by Solskjaer as a chance to shuffle his pack and bring through a number of promising young players.
Fellow teenage forward Elanga now becomes the latest youngster hopeful of making a name for himself in the Europa League for United. The Sweden youth international is the current holder of the club’s prestigious Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award; he had established himself as a key member of the U23 team prior to sustaining a collarbone injury against Leicester City in January.
The injury explains why Elanga has only now been added to United’s Europa League first-team squad, with Thursday’s first-leg fixture against Granada just around the corner.
Elanga Trusts The ‘Pathway’ Into The Manchester United First-Team
Speaking to Yahoo Sport (via the Press Association) in November, Elanga spoke of his confidence that playing in the Manchester United youth setup would eventually provide an opening to first-team football with the club, and cited the recent examples of Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford as proof of that.
The teenager said: “You look at the likes of Mason and Rashy; there is a pathway there. It just shows you that if you’re willing to put the work into it and continue to work hard in training there is a pathway for you there.
“Obviously we’ve got a manager in Ole trusting the youngsters; there’s a pathway there and I’ve just got to keep working hard. In training, I’m always working hard and the way that I train is the way that I play.”