England manager Gareth Southgate in race against time to grab Manchester United ace Anthony Elanga opportunity
According to The Sun, England head coach Gareth Southgate is in a race against time to convince Manchester United star Anthony Elanga to make the switch to turn out for the Three Lions instead of Sweden.
Elanga has seen his stock rise in recent times, with the winger making quite the impact for the Red Devils in England and Europe. Last night, the player was Man United’s hero as he grabbed the equaliser against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League Round of 16 first leg tie at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Now, it is said that his exploits have caught the eye of the England manager, as he looks to bolster his options available in the attacking department and keep an eye on the future. The Three Lions are stacked with forwards, and Elanga may be the latest one to join them.
The Red Devils’ youngster was born in Sweden and has represented the nation several times in the youth setup, but has not made a senior appearance for the national side as of yet. Since Elanga has lived in England long enough to be eligible for the Three Lions, it has opened the door for Southgate to convince him to switch nationalities.
Time running out
Elanga could join an illustrious list of United players to play for England if Southgate moves quickly. However, he has under two weeks to convince the teenager to turn out for the Three Lions, as Sweden manager Janne Andersson is looking to include the Carrington product in his World Cup play-off squad shortly.
If the Sweden-born winger accepts the call-up, then Southgate will have lost out on him. Interestingly, the Man United man is also eligible to play for Cameroon through his father Joseph, who was also a capped player for the country.
Man United have a rich history of producing stars who have made it to the England squad, with the side currently boasting of Harry Maguire, Phil Jones, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, and Dean Henderson who have earned national team call-ups in the past.
If Southgate acts in time and Elanga is convinced, then the 19-year-old joins this exclusive club of Red Devils’ players mentioned previously. Luckily for Andersson, Sweden captain Victor Lindelof is also at Old Trafford to influence any move for a national call-up expected soon.
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There is no surprise about the interest in Elanga’s services, given the hot form he has been in. Interim manager Ralf Rangnick has been highly influential in the rise of the forward of late, with the German providing him ample opportunities to make his name in Manchester.
Whoever wins the race for the academy graduate is sure to gain an excellent forward, who has been one of the bright sparks for the club this season. An international call-up is just the next step forward for the winger, and Elanga will look to seize every opportunity he gets that comes his way.