Manchester United’s youngsters ran riot in their first EFL Trophy game of the campaign.
Neil Wood’s Under-21s side beat Salford City 6-0 with club legend Gary Neville, also co-owner of the home side, watching on.
And the youngsters staking a claim to break into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-team made an impression with Neville branding them “superior in all areas of the pitch” on co-commentary for Salford’s website.
Hannibal Mejbri, a big-money signing from Monaco last summer, caught the eye – but it was Anthony Elanga who drew some special praise from Neville.
The former right-back admitted the winger is a “nightmare to play against” as he caused all sorts of problems throughout the game.
The Swedish youth international, who signed from Malmo at 14 and turned 18 during lockdown, struck the bar early on before setting up Arnau Puigmal to score.
And he got himself on the scoresheet in the second half after smart work from Mejbri set his pace free as he opened his body and bent the ball into the far corner.
It was that goal which saw Neville draw comparisons with Arsenal great Thierry Henry, who he saw up close on a number of occasions when the Frenchman was in his prime.
Elanga has so far scored 10 goals and registered eight assists in the Under-18s Premier League but will step up to Under-23s level, where he has already played a number of games.
However, he will have high hopes of emulating Mason Greenwood’s first-team breakthrough and knocking on the door for a first-team debut.
His display at Salford against senior opposition will do his case no harm, especially with the prospect of Solskjaer throwing in some raw young talent in cup competitions during a campaign which will bring a hectic schedule.
Mejbri is also being tipped for first-team involvement whilst several youngsters including James Garner and Teden Mengi have already made their debuts under Solskjaer’s watch.
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