‘Sancho has competition and it’s Anthony Elanga’: Manchester United fans question big-money spending after 19-year-old academy graduate shone in Aston Villa draw… putting pressure on likes of Rashford
- Anthony Elanga was given a rare start against Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon
- The academy graduate stepped in with Ronaldo and Rashford sidelined
- He stepped up to put in one of Manchester United’s strongest performances
- Red Devils fans are left wondering if Elanga can take the big-money players’ spot
Anthony Elanga is threatening to pile more pressure on the likes of Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford, with Man United fans enthused by his performance against Aston Villa.
With Cristiano Ronaldo and Rashford himself ruled-out, Ralf Rangnick made the bold move of handing the 19-year-old his first Premier League start of the season – with unsettled stars Sancho, Jesse Lingard and Donny van de Beek stuck on the bench.
The academy graduate got stuck in with a busy 78 minutes, before behind replaced by £73million Sancho – moments after Jacob Ramsey began Villa’s surge from 2-0 down to nick a point.
Anthony Elanga put in a strong performance against Aston Villa in his first start this season
The winger kept £73million signing Jadon Sancho out of the team as United were held by Villa
It’s another damaging result for the Red Devils, whose regular starters are under intense pressure having been called-out by Cristiano Ronaldo for their commitment. Elanga could take advantage of the apathy to step in.
‘Sancho has competition and that is Elanga,’ @ofentseEvi wrote on Twitter.
@Hansley1994 added: ‘The positive about today is, Elanga is miles ahead of Rashford and Sancho. He must start every game from now on!’
‘Elanga will keep the big boys on the bench very soon. He is so confident and promising on the ball,’ @GalacticManny wrote, while @Vintage_Utd said: ‘Work hard in training & you’ll get your opportunity. Anthony Elanga proves it.’
Elanga ran hard and earned praise for his pressing, which other stars have struggled with
According to Squawka, Elanga won 100% of his aerial duels (three), and had the most touches inside the opposition box (six).
Elanga, a Swedish under-21 international, has made just eight appearances at senior level – scoring his first United goal against Wolves on the final day of the 2020-21 season.
Surrounded his senior internationals all scrapping for a spot in Rangnick’s XI, Elanga could earn himself a run in the team as the German looks for fresh faces to reinvigorate his side.