“The same”- Rangnick lauded for recreating van Gaal-Rashford bond with this in-form starlet

Former Manchester United ace Dimitar Berbatov says interim boss Ralf Rangnick and starlet Anthony Elanga have special bond

Speaking to Betfair (h/t Express), ex-Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov said that his former club’s interim manager Ralf Rangnick and teenager Anthony Elanga have a special bond between them that has worked to the club’s benefit. 

Rangnick and Elanga combined to good effect once again for United, this time in the Champions League as the forward was sent on by the manager to rescue a result for the club against Atletico Madrid, and Elanga did just that as he scored the equaliser to help Rangnick secure a 1-1 away draw.

Berbatov, who won two Premier League trophies with United, said that the bond between Elanga and Rangnick reminded him of Louis van Gaal‘s relationship with Marcus Rashford when the Englishman was coming through the ranks at the club.

“It happened at United a few years ago when Louis van Gaal gave Marcus Rashford his chance. Rashford seized his opportunity and Elanga is doing the same.”

Manchester United German Interim head coach Ralf Rangnick has a special bond with Anthony Elanga, says Dimitar Berbatov. (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)
Manchester United German Interim head coach Ralf Rangnick has a special bond with Anthony Elanga, says Dimitar Berbatov. (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

Rashford broke through to the first team when he was still a teenager under van Gaal, quickly developing into one of the Premier League’s brightest prospects as he led the line for United at such a young age.

Rangnick’s favourite

The Carrington product has since gone on to rack up multiple appearances and goals for his boyhood club, even as van Gaal departed after winning the FA Cup. Rashford has even become an England international, further cementing his status as an exciting forward.

Now, it looks like Elanga and Rangnick’s story is set to mirror that of Rashford and van Gaal, with Berbatov saying that the player needs to keep working hard to repay the German’s faith in him.

“Rangnick and Elanga have a special bond. You see that a lot in football, coaches taking a shine to a talented young player and bringing them through. He needs to keep working hard though. You never want to betray the trust of a manager who believes in you.”

Berbatov likened Elanga and Rangnick's relationship to that of Louis van Gaal and Marcus Rashford. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Berbatov likened Elanga and Rangnick’s relationship to that of Louis van Gaal and Marcus Rashford. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Although Elanga made his debut for United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last season, it is under Rangnick that the teenager has made a name for himself in the first-team squad. The Swede has now scored in the Premier League and Champions League, setting a very high standard for himself in the coming months.

The German has called upon the forward multiple times this season, and the winger has hardly put a foot wrong this season. A missed penalty against Middlesbrough to send the club out of the FA Cup may have weighed on Elanga’s mind in the past, but it will have been replaced by the high of snatching an important draw against Atletico in the Round of 16 tie in the Champions League.

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Even though van Gaal moved on from the club, Rashford continued his fine start under the Dutchman and has become a regular feature in the first team of the club. We can hope that Elanga follows the same path as Rashford, even after Rangnick’s reign as manager ends in the summer.

Elanga will be hoping for more opportunities this season under Rangnick, and if he keeps up his current form, there is no reason why the interim head coach will deny him the chance to make a name for himself at his boyhood club.