Perhaps the best contribution Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made to Manchester United before leaving his role last year was opting against allowing young attacker Anthony Elanga to leave the club on loan.
Since his recent promotion to the Red Devils’ first team, Elanga, 19, has quickly emerged as a fan favourite, as well as a huge prospect.
Bursting onto the scene, this season has already seen the Swedish winger net a vital goal in the Champions League against Sevilla.
Although well beaten in the knockout game’s return leg, Elanga’s late first leg equaliser at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium earlier this year saw him become an instant hit with the United faithful.
However, according to a recent report from ESPN, the teenager’s path could have taken a very different route if former boss Solskjaer had caved to mounting pressure to offload him last summer.
It has been noted that last year’s summer transfer window saw ‘huge’ interest come from other Premier League clubs, as well as sides in the Championship, all of whom wanted to take Elanga on loan this season.
Refusing to let him leave, Solskjaer’s belief in Elanga saw the Sweden international fight alongside the likes of Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho for a place in the Red Devils’ blockbuster attacking front line.
Speaking at the time to the club’s official website about his decision to bring Elanga up from the youth team, Solskjaer said: “I’ve got faith in the young lads, of course, and, in Anthony, we have a player with good skills, a great attitude and he scores goals from either the right or left, and he’s got good pace.
“He’s not just there for experience, he might actually play a part, who knows? He’s got that X-factor and I like players with speed and acceleration and he’s definitely got that.”
The challenge of becoming a regular for the first team is one the 19-year-old appears to have taken to like a duck to water.
Having already made 18 senior appearances this season, with three goals to his name, it would seem that the sky is the limit for the exciting young wide-man.