Anthony Elanga has admitted it was a difficult decision to leave Manchester United but he made it to get more game time.
The 21-year-old is one of the most talented players to have emerged from United’s academy in recent years.
He made his competitive debut in a Premier League game against Leicester City in May 2021.
The Swedish footballer made 27 senior appearances in 2021-22 before featuring in 26 the following season. However, most of those appearances came off the bench.
Elanga joined Nottingham Forest this summer in a deal worth £15 million. But the player admitted it was not a simple choice to make.
“It wasn’t easy to leave United because I had been there for nine years from academy to first team,” Elanga told the Daily Mail.
“But at the end of the day I have to think about myself and would I want to stay another year coming in and out from the bench or be a starter at a team on the rise, improving and getting better.
“For me, the option for Forest is perfect. Leaving United was difficult and they are arguably the biggest club in the world, but I have to think about what I want and how I see myself in the next few years growing and getting better every day. The perfect decision.”
Elanga stayed at United for nine players and in that period, he was allowed to develop his game under some top managers and play alongside some world-class footballers.
According to the Sweden international, Marcus Rashford was the best player he played with at his former club.
The 21-year-old hailed Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the best in the world but named Rashford who left a greater mark on him.
He said: “I have learnt from arguably the best player in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo, I have learnt from Bruno Fernandes, Raphael Varane, Casemiro.
I can go through the whole team because they are all world-class players, not just what they do on the pitch but off the pitch as well with their discipline and how they look after themselves.
“[But] I have to say Marcus Rashford is the best I have played with. He has got everything – speed, skill, shot, finishing – the way he played last season was amazing. Off the field, he is top – he helped me a lot coming through.”
Rashford was in the form of his life last season as he scored an incredible 30 goals in 56 matches.
However, Rashford’s levels have dropped this season, with the forward netting just one goal in 12 appearances across all competitions.
The 25-year-old has been a key player for United, but he is not performing well at the moment.
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