Anthony Elanga

Swedish Footballer
Anthony Elanga
Anthony Elanga (Photo: YouTube / BT Sport / Screengrab)

Anthony Elanga is a Swedish footballer who plays as a winger for Manchester United.

Anthony Elanga

• Date of birth: 27 April 2002
• Age: 20 years old
• Place of birth: Malmo, Sweden
• Nationality: Swedish
• Position: Winger
• Height: 178cm / 5ft 10ins
• Weight: 65kg / 143lbs
• Wages: Not Known

• Instagram: @anthonyelanga

The 20-year-old attacking midfielder was born in Malmo, Sweden and moved to England before joining Manchester United’s youth set-up when he was 12 years old.

Elanga progressed through the youth teams at the Old Trafford club and made his first-team debut for Manchester United in 2021.

He was rewarded for his promising performances for the Red Devils with a new and improved contract in December 2021, a deal which was set to run until 2026 with the option for a further year.

Elanga, who is the son of former Cameroon international footballer Joseph Elanga, has represented Sweden at Under-17, Under-19 and Under-21 levels.

So, what do we know about Elanga’s journey to becoming the promising young attacker that he is today? This is his story.

Early Life, Parents And Upbringing

Anthony Elanga (full name: Anthony David Junior Elanga) was born on 27 April 2002 in Malmo, Sweden. He is the son of former Cameroon international Joseph Elanga.

Elanga has revealed that he quickly developed a passion for football after watching his father play the sport. Joseph Elanga, who was a defender, was playing for Malmo FF when his son was born.

“I watched Dad play and fell in love with the game,” Elanga said in an interview with The Athletic. “I went to all the games and knew all the songs from the fans and all about the rivalry with Helsingborg or AIK from Stockholm.”

After moving to the city of Boras, near Gothenburg, he began playing for Elfsborg’s youth teams.

His family then decided to move to England in 2013.

“My mum liked England and wanted a new life,” Elanga explains. “Moving was a big thing. I had learned English in Sweden so the language wasn’t difficult to adapt.”

Elanga has shown himself to be adept with languages – he speaks fluent English, French and Swedish.

Early Career

After a brief stint at Hattersley FC, Elanga joined the Manchester United academy when he was 12 years old in 2014. He later switched schools to be closer to Manchester United’s Carrington training base.

Elanga has revealed in the past that he has tried to model his game on Arsenal and France legend Thierry Henry.

“Thierry Henry was my idol and I tried to match my game with his,” Elanga said in an interview with The Athletic in 2020. “He was quick. He could play anywhere across the front three – striker, left wing, right wing – and that’s how I want to replicate my game.”

Anthony Elanga

Anthony Elanga (Photo: @anthonyelanga / Instagram)

Manchester United

Elanga made his debut for Manchester United’s first team in a pre-season friendly against Aston Villa in the summer of 2020.

The winger then made his competitive first-team debut for Manchester United on 11 May 2021, when he started a Premier League clash against Leicester City at Old Trafford – a game that the Red Devils lost 2-1.

Elanga scored his first goal for Manchester United on 23 May 2021, when he netted in the 13th minute of a 2-1 victory over Wolves away from home in the Premier League. He finished the season with one goal from his two appearances for the first team.

The 2021-22 campaign was to be something of a breakthrough season for the Swede. He scored his second Premier League goal for the Red Devils on 19 January 2022 in a 3-1 win at Brentford. He then also netted against Leeds United on 20 February.

Late in 2021, Elanga was rewarded for his promising performances with a new long-term contract to keep him at the club until 2026, with the option for a further year.

“My ultimate ambition has always been to play for Manchester United,” Elanga said after penning his new contract in December 2021. “The standard is extremely high, but this contract is another important moment in my journey.

“This is the perfect environment to take the next step, with world-class players and coaches to learn from every day.”

On 23 February 2022, Elanga scored his first Champions League goal for Manchester United, when he netted the equaliser in a 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their last-16 tie in Spain, after having come on as a substitute for Marcus Rashford in the second half.

International Career

Elanga is understood to be eligible to play for Sweden, Cameroon or England at international level.

He has represented Sweden at Under-17, Under-19 and Under-21 levels.

Life Away From The Pitch

Elanga appears to enjoy keeping a relatively low profile on social media, with most of his posts on Instagram being focused on his training and games for Manchester United.

Anthony Elanga

Anthony Elanga (Photo: @anthonyelanga / Instagram)

What Have Others Said?

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, speaking about Anthony Elanga in April 2021: “He has impressed when he has been in training with us.

“He’s got an X factor, some attributes, it’s not like a gift, but he’s got the acceleration, pace, speed, that’s a given for wingers and he’s got qualities I like.

“He’s a goalscoring winger, he’s confident, he likes to beat men, right foot, left foot, he’s got a great attitude. His appetite and hunger to improve… when he’s been training with us, he’s not been fazed by it – he’s confident.”

Manchester United football director John Murtough, speaking after Elanga signed a new long-term contract with the club in December 2021: “Anthony is a young player that we really believe in. He has consistently impressed throughout the Academy age groups and risen to every challenge that he has faced.

“Anthony is extremely dedicated; he has the work-rate and attitude to keep improving every day and succeed at Manchester United. He is yet another fantastic example of the type of player that our world-leading youth development system continues to produce.”

Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick, speaking after Elanga scored the club’s equalising goal in a 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid in the Champions League in February 2022: “He is playing as if a dream comes true. He is just a joy and it’s fun to watch him play.

“I wish a few other players would take him as an example, or almost as a role model I would say, not because he is doing everything right, but because he’s just enjoying himself on the pitch and that’s what it’s all about.”

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic, speaking about his team-mate Elanga after the same game against Atletico Madrid in February 2022: “For a very young player to come here and score against Atletico Madrid he will remember this moment forever for sure and he deserved that.

“He’s working very hard, he’s a very, very nice kid I have to say – very polite, respectful and I think he’s the future of our club.”

Rio Ferdinand, speaking in February 2022 about what Elanga brings to the Manchester United team: “What he [Elanga] brings is an energy, a desire, fearlessness. There’s not enough in this Man United team at times.”

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