Anthony Elanga has played in 24 of Manchester United’s 46 games in all competitions this season (52%), failing to score while making two assists.
But despite featuring in more than half of United’s matches, the 20-year-old has started only seven games (15.2%) and has amassed a paltry 672 minutes from a possible 4140 (16.2%).
Elanga admitted in a recent interview with Aftonbladet that he’s becoming disillusioned at the lack of playing time under Erik ten Hag but will remain patient for more opportunities.
He said: “It is frustrating. You want to play. It is important. But if you don’t play, it’s not up to me but up to the coach.”
The Swedish international joined United in 2015 and has gone on to make 53 appearances in all competitions, scoring four goals with four assists.
Elanga scored ten goals with eight assists from 29 games for the U18s, scored one goal with one assist from three games for the U19s, and scored 15 goals with seven assists from 37 games for the U21s, so he shone at youth level and was more than deserving of his promotion.
He has stiff competition from Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Alejandro Garnacho, so it’s little wonder he’s hardly started a game.
Amad Diallo was loaned out to Sunderland and continues to impress, and he’ll be happier than Elanga with how his season is going. Ten Hag may well swap the two players in the pecking order over the summer.
The United manager is known as a strict disciplinarian, and it’s hard to see him giving a youngster more playing time if he doesn’t believe they’ve earned it.
Elanga’s comments may fall on deaf ears and he’ll have to work hard in training to warrant starting more games at senior level.
Stats from Transfermarkt and WhoScored
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