Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

‘It depends on him’ – Zlatan throws down the gauntlet to Man Utd star who must ‘strive for more’

Man Utd trio Jadon Sancho, Anthony Elanga and Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Zlatan Ibrahimovic reckons Man Utd starlet Anthony Elanga has the footballing world at his feet, but must ensure he never settles for what he has.

The 19-year-old has forced his way into Ralf Rangnick’s plans this season with more senior stars around him flattering to deceive. Indeed, the likes of Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani have endured dismal form this season that has seen them tumble down the pecking order.

Their loss became Elanga’s gain, with the young Swede taking his chance with both hands this season.

Elanga has two Premier League goals to his name so far this year He also notched on the big stage away at Atletico Madrid in the Champions League Round of 16.

That impact has seen Elanga rewarded with his first call-up to the senior Sweden team for the current international break.

That has now drawn the attention of Sweden legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic – who played with Anthony’s father Joseph at Malmo.

Ibrahimovic labelled Elanga a “great talent”, though insisted he must never be content and always “strive for more”.

“He’s [Elanga] a great talent, we are proud and happy that he comes from Sweden,” Ibrahimovic told SVT Sport. “That he can represent Sweden now makes it even bigger.

“He has all the future ahead of him, and if he continues just as he has done, it looks positive. It’s just fighting, never being content, striving for more. How much he can develop depends on him.”

Sweden’s current captain is Man Utd centre-half Victor Lindelof. Lindelof echoed many of Ibrahimovic’s sentiments, and revealed what words of wisdom he’s already imparted to the rising forward.

Lindelof takes Elanga under the learning tree

“I’ve spoken to him and said stay humble, keep working hard, and keep doing your thing,” Lindelof told United Review.

“Keep your feet on the ground and work hard because even if you’re young and you manage to come to this level, it’s a great thing, but staying at this level is also hard because you need to really keep working hard.

“He’s a great talent, still very, very young but he’s got some really, really great qualities as a player,”

“He’s very fast with great technique and he’s got an eye for goal. He’s still very, very young so I think it’s important to let him develop in his own time, but he’s a great talent.

“Of course, I always try to help players and help team-mates if they need my help. That’s the kind of person I am, I always want to help people, so of course I talk to him.

“He’s from Sweden, so it makes sense that I speak to him as well. I’m also the captain of the national team so for me to do that just comes naturally.”