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‘He should be really proud of himself’ – Harry Maguire reserves special praise for Manchester United starlet Anthony Elanga


Anthony Elanga has impressed Manchester United captain Harry Maguire (Picture: Getty)

Harry Maguire has heaped praise on Manchester United academy product Anthony Elanga and believes the youngster should be ‘really proud of himself’ after bursting onto the scene this season.

Elanga, 19, made his first-team debut last May and has proven beyond doubt he is ready to make the step up this season, starting United’s last three Premier League matches against Aston Villa, Brentford and West Ham.

The Swede even opened his account with a composed finish in the Red Devils’ 3-1 victory at the Brentford Community Stadium and will no doubt be desperate to continue his run in the side versus Middlesbrough in the FA Cup next Friday.

Ralf Rangnick and Bruno Fernandes waxed lyrical about Elanga’s potential in the wake of United’s win at Villa and club captain Maguire has followed suit this week, insisting the teenager has ‘all the talent in the world’ to become a star.

Asked about Elanga’s recent breakthrough, Maguire told United’s official website: ‘That’s what this club is about and what it’s been about for numerous years now, we bring through young talent and people get opportunities.

‘Anthony has broken into the team in the last couple of games and he’s done really well and should be really proud of himself.

‘You’ve obviously got Marcus [Rashford], who is established, and Mason [Greenwood], who is growing and growing and getting better and better.

‘It’s what this club is about, it brings through talented footballers and if you’re talented enough then you’ll get an opportunity to play and that’s what happened with Anthony.’

Elanga broke the deadlock shortly after half-time at Brentford (Picture: Getty)

The England central defender believes United’s senior players have a responsibility to set an example and put an arm round the shoulder of younger squad members when necessary.

‘It’s important. Over the last few years, with Mason [for example], I’ve spoken with him a lot. He’s matured a lot off the pitch and you can see that on it, with his performances,’ Maguire added.

‘The same with Anthony. Sometimes, when you’re a young boy, you can feel like the opportunity to start a game is far away then, all of a sudden, things change and you get your opportunity and you’ve got to be ready to take it.

‘Anthony has done that really well and he should be proud of himself and I’m sure his family is really proud. Now it’s a marker and a stepping stone and can he really kick on? He has all the talent in the world to do that.

‘Of course, myself and the senior lads will be pushing him and others, and that’s what we want – we want these young players to come in and bring energy and intensity, and help improve us as a squad.

‘We’re all here to win football matches and the better players we have in the squad then the more competition there is and the more opportunities we have to win games.’

Maguire is determined to fight for major silverware this season (Picture: Getty)

Maguire called on United’s squad to ‘work together as a group’ to give themselves the best possible chance of bouncing back after a disappointing start to the campaign.

‘It’s really important that we stay in the competitions for as long as we can and find ourselves challenging for trophies at the end of the season,’ he went on.

‘In two months’ time we want to be challenging in the league, for the top four positions, and then in both competitions in the cups. 

‘We are in a position where we are not happy with the league position.

‘But for sure we have lots of things to play for, and lots of momentum to gain, and lots of things to improve on. 

‘From now until the end of the season we have got to work together as a group, work together as a club and make sure we reach our aims.’


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