Home » Manchester United should seek to offload out-of-favour star Anthony Elanga this summer – opinion

Manchester United should seek to offload out-of-favour star Anthony Elanga this summer – opinion

by Derick Kinoti

Expectations were high for Anthony Elanga as he broke into the Manchester United first team last season during a tumultuous campaign under interim boss Ralf Rangnick.

As United finished sixth in the Premier League standings and had three managers in the dugout across the 38-game domestic term, Elanga seemed like a shining ray of light for supporters who lost interest in the team and their uninspiring displays.

He showed plenty of promise with goals against Brentford, Leeds and Atletico Madrid and everything seemed aligned for him to become the next academy star to come through the ranks and make it to the big time.

However, Erik ten Hag’s arrival at Old Trafford saw Elanga’s progress significantly falter. The Swede’s prominence under the new boss was remarkably curtailed. The forward had to primarily be content with a place on the bench all season.

In the league, he only managed 15 appearances, most of which came as a substitute. Across all competitions, the 21-year-old played 25 games. He could not register a single goal to show for his performances on the pitch when the opportunity presented itself.

The likes of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Alejandro Garnacho, Antony, Anthony Martial and even the lacklustre Wout Weghorst were all largely preferred by Ten Hag ahead of the versatile youngster.

With a striker likely to be signed in the coming weeks, it makes sense to finally facilitate a parting of ways with Elanga.

From the outside looking in, it’s clear he has little to no chance of forcing himself into Ten Hag’s plans unless something drastic happens.

The acquisition of personnel such as Rasmus Hojlund, who is United’s number one striker target, or Randal Kolo Muani, will only serve to push Elanga further down the pecking order.

The Sweden international will find minutes even harder to come by – a state of affairs that will only stunt his development and the advancement of his career.

For him to take the next step in realizing his potential, the first step must be to move to a club where he will be a guaranteed starter and sadly, this will not be with the Red Devils.

From United’s point-of-view, letting Elanga leave as opposed to retaining him is also in their best interests. Aside from the fact that they would be holding on to an unhappy player, the club also stands to get a considerable transfer fee from handing him off to another team.

Remember Elanga is an academy prospect and United did not pay for his services. They can only make a considerable profit by selling him.

A capped international who has mustered over 55 total appearances for England’s biggest club and who has a contract running until 2026 leaves the Reds in an extremely advantageous position during negotiations.

Elanga is not short of admirers. Already, RB Leipzig and Everton have been credited with an interest in his services.

The Toffees in particular are understood to have opened talks with United about the possibility of signing him

During a summer in which Ten Hag has been forced to exercise prudence occasioned by an extremely tight transfer budget, Elanga’s sale could help relieve some of this pressure and subsequently provide more wiggle room with regard to how much can be spent on recruits.

Transfermarkt value the United number 36 at a healthy €18m. Shrewd haggling and finesse on United’s part could go a long way in ultimately driving this figure even higher.

All this coupled with the player’s own admission that he’s open to going elsewhere in a bid to resuscitate his fortunes on the pitch make a compelling case for his departure from the Theatre of Dreams.

Back in March while out on international duty, Elanga opened up about the minimal football action he was getting with United and simply described the circumstances as “frustrating.”

Later on in June, he was once again questioned by the media about his future and whether he would be opposed to a Bundesliga switch as the newest arrival at RB Leipzig. This would see him play line up alongside fellow countryman Emil Forsberg.

Elanga only responded by saying, “You’ll see.”

He was included in Ten Hag’s final travelling squad list for the pre-season tour. However, logic and reason dictate that this should simply be an opportunity to parade him around for possible suitors who wish to add him to their ranks.

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