Mark Goldbridge and Samuel Luckhurst were both critical of Anthony Elanga’s performance in Manchester United‘s 1-0 victory at Southampton on Saturday lunchtime.
THE LOWDOWN: UNITED WIN AT SOUTHAMPTON
Erik ten Hag’s side made the long Premier League trip to St Mary’s on Saturday lunchtime, looking to build on their impressive 2-1 win at home to Liverpool on Monday evening.
They did exactly that, producing a professional performance that saw them take the lead through Bruno Fernandes’ well-taken strike in the second half.
United held on to secure all three points, as they made it two wins in the space of five days, suggesting they have turned a much-needed corner.
THE LATEST: MEDIA CRITICISE ELANGA
Despite this result, both Goldbridge and Luckhurst were unimpressed with Elanga’s impact, with the talkSPORT pundit taking to Twitter to show his frustration:
“Feel for Elanga. Really isn’t ready to be a first teamer yet. Just been thrown in as we have no one else and hasn’t had that nurture stage.”
The Manchester Evening News’ Luckhurst was similarly disappointed, providing his own verdict on Twitter:
“So far, so obvious why Ten Hag wants a forward and a creative midfielder (De Jong). #mufc lacking presence up front with Rashford through the middle and Fernandes too impetuous on the ball. Elanga lightweight.”
THE VERDICT: NOT GOOD ENOUGH CURRENTLY
At just 20, it would be harsh to be overly critical of Elanga but he is not currently at the level required to be a starter for United, considering their top-four aim.
The winger was their lowest rated starter on the day, per Sofascore, failing 100 per cent of his four dribble attempts, losing possession 11 times and missing out in five of his six ground duels (83 per cent).
All in all he has only scored four goals in 32 appearances for the Reds Devils, despite his attacking nature, and there is a lack of elite end product that the likes of Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho have proven they can have over the years.
It is time for Ten Hag to take Elanga out of the firing line, with Anthony Martial potentially coming into the team once he is fit, or possible new signing Antony.