ANTHONY ELANGA may be Manchester United’s new take on a mediocre season – but he could easily play for nasty opponents City.
The 19-year-old striker is a rare ray of light this month when High-ranking stars of the Red Devils receive a lot of criticism for their groans and attitudes.
After Elanga’s first Prem start of the season Draw 2-2 against Aston VillaUnited boss Ralf Rangnick noted yesterday: “He showed up in training sessions and that’s why I decided to let him play – he showed exactly what I did. expect him to deliver.”
Elanga’s ascent has brought smiles to Hattersley FC, the team he joined as an 11-year-old in 2013 after arriving from his native Sweden with his mother Daniella and two sisters, Sandra and Chanelle.
Ian Forder, who was in charge of the team at the time, told SunSport: “Anthony came to see Hyde United, who used to train alongside us.
“I could see that he was with his mother and looked rather out of place.
“I just went up to him and said, ‘Can we help you?’ and he asked if we were Hyde United.
“I said, ‘No, we’re Hattersley. Hyde used to practice on this next pitch but they didn’t show up. Where do you live?’
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“He said he lived in Hyde, so I went, ‘Look, instead of having a wasted journey, come and train with us’.
“He put on his shoes and went on.
“Ten minutes later, I am handing the signed papers to his mother!
“It was really a cold and wet night in January. I really believe that’s why Hyde never came back, so it’s their loss. September can be very cold there!
“But I didn’t let him go after those ten minutes. When his mother returned the form and I saw his age, I thought, ‘I’m not going to let you go, man – you won’t be here long’. “
Elanga started playing for the Hattersley’s Under-12s at the time – but his talent meant he played in a higher group.
It also began a friendship with businessman John Croke, who ran a carpet shop in Hyde.
One that continues to this day and has seen a number of football memorabilia passed on.
City were interested at first and he had a few training sessions with them.
Elanga .’s First Coach
In just 12 games, Elanga has scored 17 goals and assisted, according to Ian, about another 27.
No one was surprised to see him break into United’s first team – but it was the Manchester blue half who first showed interest.
Ian, 62, who lives in Hattersley, added: “City was interested at first and he had a few training sessions with them.
“I had the Under-14 team back then and I really shouldn’t have played him – but I wouldn’t let him play for anyone else.
“I could tell right away he had something, he was brilliant.
“He holds the ball in his half, gets past seven players, gets around the keeper and gets the ball in.
“I turned to John and said, ‘Did you just see that?
“One of the parents is a scout and he has been contacted by United’s chief scout, who has reviewed him.
“I think it was an 8-1 defeat but Anthony was brilliant.
“John helped Anthony a lot when he first signed up for school because his mother didn’t drive and he took him to The Cliff and back to train.”
Elanga remains in touch with everyone from where it all started and he recently spent £80 on Hattersley to play a game at Alder Community High School after their yard flooded.
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https://www.thesun.ie/sport/football/8228365/man-utd-anthony-elanga-city/ Man Utd’s newest star Anthony Elanga almost ended up at Man City after wowing scouts by arriving from Sweden aged 11