Erik ten Hag has backed Anthony Elanga to have a huge role to play at in the coming seasons under his guidance.
Elanga, 20, broke into the senior side last season under interim boss , with his early displays one of the few bright spots during an otherwise miserable campaign for the club.
With United signing for £85million in the summer, the Sweden international has found his game time limited this season but was handed a start against United on Sunday with the Brazilian unavailable through injury.
Preferred to the likes of Jadon Sancho and Facundo Pellistri, Elanga played for just over an hour before being replaced in what was his fifth starting appearances of the season.
United have more options in attack with players like Marcus Rashford returning to form this season, circumstances that saw Elanga thrown into the first-team last term.
And with his game time understandably reduced this campaign, ten Hag is impressed with his development.
‘He’s doing well and he’s a young guy,’ ten Hag told Viaplay Sweden.
‘Last year, he came in for a lot of games and this year, obviously, I would say it’s normal to drop down in minutes.
‘But you can see today he’s quite mature and I was happy with his performance. His runs behind were good, he was composed on the ball, his pressing was good.
‘His performance today was good. You can see the power lacked a little bit, like when you don’t have a run of games.
‘I’m happy to work with him. He has big potential. I think he can have a really good position in world football.’
On his improvement, he added: ‘I am definitely sure because he is a great kid to work with. Always positive and I think his brightness, his positive attitude and by working hard, he has the capabilities so now we have to improve that.’
Elanga will be hopeful of more game time before the World Cup break with United up against Real Sociedad, Aston Villa – both in the Premier League and EFL Cup – and Fulham.
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