Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Elanga names best Man Utd player he played with and it’s not Ronaldo; explains why Forest move had to happen

Nottingham Forest winger Anthony Elanga

Anthony Elanga revealed why ditching Manchester United in favour of Nottingham Forest was the “perfect decision”, and also named the best player he played with as well as the next big thing at his former club.

Elanga spent close to a decade on Man Utd’s books between 2014-23. The Sweden international, 21, made 53 appearances during a two-year span between 2021-23. However, the vast bulk of those came from the bench.

With Erik ten Hag able to pick from Marcus Rashford, Antony, Jadon Sancho and Alejandro Garnacho for the wide berths, the decision was made to sell Elanga in the off-season.

Nottingham Forest swooped when agreeing a £15m deal. Elanga has featured in all ten of Forest’s league matches this year, returning a goal and three assists thus far.

As such, leaving Old Trafford appears to already be paying dividends for Elanga and it’s the increased game-time he pointed to when explaining why a departure was a must.

When interviewed by the Daily Mail, Elanga said: “It wasn’t easy to leave Man Utd because I had been there for nine years from academy to first team.

“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.”

Ronaldo overlooked for Elanga’s best Man Utd player

Elanga played with his fair share of household names since breaking into the United first-team in 2021.

David de Gea, Raphael Varane, Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Cristiano Ronaldo are all former teammates of Elanga’s.

Many might have expected Elanga to name Ronaldo as the best player he played with at United. However, the winger opted for Rashford instead.

“I have to say Marcus Rashford is the best I have played with,” continued the Forest winger. “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.”

Elanga also went on to name midfielder Kobbie Mainoo as United’s next big thing.

“Kobbie Mainoo [is the next big academy star],” added Elanga. “He is one of my close guys that I still speak to at United and I believe he is next the top one, his talent is unreal.

“He has got everything and I just hope United can look after him really well and let him flourish. He is a top player.

“When I played with him in the academy I always thought he had similar attributes to Paul Pogba.

“They are not the same player but just the way he moves and they can both do everything, defensive, offensive, he has a mixture of everything and is really good on and off the ball.”

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