Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that young winger Anthony Elanga is giving him the best sort of headache at Manchester United.
The 19-year-old crept into the first-team picture last season, making two appearances towards the end of the season and netting his first goal in the final day victory over Wolves, and he has continued that momentum with goals against both QPR and Brentford in pre-season.
With the arrival of Jadon Sancho and expensive teenager Amad Diallo also vying for spots in Solskjaer’s squad, Elanga had been expected to head out on loan this season, but the boss admitted he’s struggling to ignore the player’s form so far this summer.
“He’s giving me a great problem, if you like!” he said (via the club’s official website). “Players who score goals and have that enthusiasm and energy… we want to play a pressing game and there are no frills [with him].
“If you asked him at half-time to run over to the cricket ground and get us a drink, he’d do it, because he’s that type of lad and that’s the type that has been brought through the academy, and these are the boys you love to see do well.
“If they give you reasons to like them and they give you reasons to play them, then you’ll have to play them.”
Solskjaer stressed that Elanga’s future will be tied to those of Amad and Marcus Rashford, the latter of whom is considering undergoing shoulder surgery that could see him miss the first three months of United‘s campaign.
“First with Marcus, we’ll make a decision in the next few days when we check him up again,” the boss explained. “We’ll see what’s best for him and what’s best for the club, that has to be considered.
“We think about every single player’s and the club’s best pathway – what’s best for this season, what’s best for the future. Amad’s enjoying the Olympics and we’ll sit down towards the end of the window to see how we are.
“Of course, with Elanga, a decision on him is a big one. There’s Marcus and his injury status, so we’ll make a decision on Amad when he comes back and sit down with him.”