Anthony Elanga: Manchester United Striker in the Best Season, Erik ten Hag, Cristiano Ronaldo and more | football news

“We know as a group it hasn’t been good enough,” says Anthony Elanga sky sports. “Deep down we know we have to do better, but it’s time to be positive about the future and not have any more negativity.”

The 2021/22 season has been a loss for Manchester United. What promised so much will return so little.

Many expected a serious challenge for the Premier League title, but United quickly fell behind rivals Manchester City and Liverpool. They now languish in sixth place, with a top-four finish out of the question.

In a campaign you’ve seen Ole Gunnar Solskjaer loses his job Y Ralf Rangnick becomes caretaker managerUnited suffered early exits in both domestic cup competitions and the loss to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League it means the club’s trophy drought will extend to a sixth successive season.

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Manchester United's Anthony Elanga celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal (AP)
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Elanga has scored four goals for Manchester United since making his debut in May 2021

Amid the chaos and disappointment, however, 20-year-old striker Elanga has been a rare bright spark.

“Sometimes things don’t go our way,” he says. “All the best teams go through periods like this. It’s about looking back at the end of the season and seeing what we can do better.”

United must win their last two games to equal their worst points tally in the Premier League era. starting in Brighton on Saturday live in sky sports – before a trip to Crystal Palace on the final day, wins alone will equal the 64 points achieved in 2013/14.

“We still have two games left and it’s about finishing the season as strong as possible,” adds Elanga. “We just have to regroup and start the new season firing.”

‘Ten Hag will bring exciting football’

With the arrival of Ajax boss Erik ten Hag next season, United are expected to be able to do exactly that.

The Dutchman, who will replace Rangnick on an initial three-year deal this summer, is one of the most forward-thinking managers in the game. He has a reputation for nurturing young talent and Elanga is a fan.

“You can see the way Ajax is playing in Europe. He’s a great manager with a fantastic track record in Europe. I’ve seen how good he is at developing young players, that’s one of the reasons I’m really excited to work with him. “. to the.

“Obviously we’re focused on finishing the season strong, but we also feel very, very positive about next year.”

Asked what Ten Hag can bring to United, Elanga said: “His experience in Europe, developing young players like myself and we have other young players to come. He will bring exciting football to Old Trafford.”

“It all starts from pre-season and how we assimilate his instructions and tactics. He will be a great addition to the club and I am very, very excited to work with him.”

‘I’m ready for the next level’

Anthony Elanga celebrates his equalizer in the second half
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Elanga scored Manchester United’s equalizer against Atlético de Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16

Despite a difficult campaign for the club, Elanga can keep his head up after establishing himself as a key member of United’s first team since making his debut under Solskjaer last May.

Playing regularly under Rangnick, he has three goals and two assists in 25 appearances for United in all competitions during a season that has also seen him represent Sweden for the first time.

“Playing 25 games for the first team and making my international debut, I personally have learned a lot,” says Elanga.

“Despite what’s happened this season, I still feel like I’ve learned a lot and I’m ready to take my game to the next level next season.

“I feel like I’m ready to go to the next level. My goal is to get better every day because that’s my way of thinking. I know I can always get better and I have wonderful players, good staff and good people around me.” to help me get to the next level.”

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Watch Elanga’s goal in Manchester United’s 3-1 Premier League win over Brentford in January

Learning from Henry and Ronaldo

Elanga is eager to improve and seeks knowledge from various current and former players. One of them is his father, former Cameroonian international Joseph Elanga.

“Obviously I admire my father. Thierry Henry is someone I also liked to watch when I grew up. He could play on the left flank, on the right, as a striker. He was strong, fast and could finish.

“I still watch his clips today and try to learn something from the way he used to play and try to add it to my game.”

Learning and playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo would be an invaluable learning experience for Elanga.
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Learning and playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo is an invaluable learning experience for Elanga

As for current teammates, it’s no surprise who Elanga takes inspiration from.

“I grew up watching United too, people like Wayne Rooney and obviously Cristiano Ronaldo.

“I talk to Cristiano a lot in training and he always gives me advice. I grew up watching him at Old Trafford, so now being able to play together is an incredible feeling.”

“There are many other players who have also helped me. Like Victor Lindelof, with whom I play internationally.

“Juan Mata and Bruno Fernandes as well. I also learned a lot from Zlatan Ibrahimovic from the national team. He has given me good advice. So I have a lot of experience around me that can help me reach the next level.”

Watch Brighton vs Man Utd live on Saturday night football from 17:00 Sky Sports Premier League; start 5:30 p.m.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United’s game against Brentford in the Premier League

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