Manchester United picked up three more points in their quest to finish in the top four of the Premier League this season, and are now four points ahead of their fourth-place rivals after staying unbeaten in their previous five league games.
Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes, Fred, and Anthony Elanga all scored during Manchester United’s tense 2-2 draw with Leeds United at Elland Road on Sunday afternoon, with two of the goal-scorers, Fred and Elanga, coming on in the 67th minute to save Manchester United from dropping points, making a huge impact to steal the three points for their side away from home.
The double substitution paid off for Ralf Rangnick, proving that 19-year-old Elanga has a significant role to play in the team’s future success. With his influence this season, the teenager has provided the German coach with a new attacking danger on whom he can rely.
In July 2015, the Swedish national joined Manchester United’s youth academy at the age of 14 and has since risen through the ranks with impressive performances and consistency in both the U18’s and U23’s, scoring a combined 25 goals and bagging 15 assists for the youth teams in just 66 appearances, which clearly caught the attention of the first-team coaches.
Elanga made his Premier League debut in May last year against Leicester City under former Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and this season has been given more chances to prove his worth, with a change in management only furthering his progression in the team if his performances under Rangnick are any indication.
Rangnick will be overjoyed to see Elanga capitalizing on his opportunities, especially after he scored against Leeds at the weekend, in all of his nine Premier League outings this season, with the youngster scoring two goals for the first team in just 371 minutes of game time.
The £3.6m-rated talent has been dubbed a “nightmare” by Gary Neville, who also compared the versatile forward to Thierry Henry after stating his finish against Salford City in 2020 was “Thierry Henry-esque,” and he is definitely being preferred for selection over another youth academy star.
Marcus Rashford was also on the bench for the Leeds United match, but Rangnick relied on his 19-year-old rival to get the job done on Sunday afternoon.
That might create a precedent for Rashford’s future in the Manchester United team, and it will be intriguing to see how Rangnick selects his forward line in the remaining months of the season, with the club still in contention for the Champions League and FA Cup this season.