Lindelof backs Elanga to make his mark
Victor Lindelof believes his Manchester United team-mate Anthony Elanga is capable of really making his mark for club and country.
The pair lined up for the Reds in the 2-2 draw at Aston Villa on Saturday, with Elanga twice going close to scoring while producing a confident and bold display of attacking down the flanks.
After a lively cameo against the same opponents in the Emirates FA Cup third round at Old Trafford, the winger is grasping his opportunities and Lindelof is keen to help him take these next steps.
Of course, not only are they club colleagues but also on the international front, with Elanga pushing for inclusion in the Sweden senior team following a string of impressive performances for the Scandinavian nation's Under-21s.
There is certainly a buzz around the 19-year-old, who has risen through the ranks of the famous Academy at Carrington.
"Of course, I talk to him a lot," Lindelof told us. "He's a great talent and I'm very happy for him, getting more and more minutes at the club.
"He's a young player, a good talent, who comes in here every day and really wants to improve his game. He works very, very hard and I'm pleased for him.
"If he keeps doing the things he's doing at the moment, I think he's going to have a great future ahead of him. It's all about staying humble and to keep working hard."
Sweden have crunch World Cup play-offs coming up in a few months' time. They are at home to Czech Republic on 24 March, with a chance to progress to a final against Russia or Poland, five days later. The prize at stake is a place in the finals in Qatar towards the end of the year.
Whether Elanga can gate-crash the squad probably depends on whether he is able to continue impressing for the Reds in the meantime.
"Maybe, in the future, we'll see," explained Lindelof about the situation. "We have quite a lot of young, exciting players coming up in Sweden at the moment. It's a very, very positive thing obviously for me, being captain, as it's always nice to see that - having young players getting into the team.
"To be honest, I don't read that much [of any press coverage in Sweden about Elanga]. Obviously, if you're at United and young and Swedish, of course there is a lot of talk about you as a player. Yeah, I think, like I said, he's a top talent who, if he keeps doing the things he's doing at the moment, he can have a bright future ahead of him. It's nice to have him at the club as well and I'm trying to help him in any way I can."