Lindelof's advice for 'future great' Elanga
Victor Lindelof believes his fellow Sweden and Manchester United colleague Anthony Elanga has “a great future ahead of him”.
The young winger turns 20 today (27 April) and has enjoyed something of a breakthrough season at both club and international level.
After making his first-team debut under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last May, Elanga has become a regular during 2021/22, appearing 23 times and scoring three goals.
He also made his maiden bow at international level, coming on as a substitute in Sweden's 1-0 victory over Czech Republic in March.
And Lindelof, who captained Sweden on that night in Stockholm, says it has been a pleasure to see his young team-mate come of age.
“I’m really pleased for Anthony,” said the Reds centre-half. “He’s a great talent and I’m very happy for him that he’s been able to show his qualities on the pitch – and with the national team as well.
“Him and I talk every day. He’s also very humble and he works very hard and I think that’s important. He’s shown great quality on the pitch, with and without the ball, and his work-rate, his speed and his finishing are very, very good.
“He’s still very young so I think it’s important to let him develop in his own time. He’s a top player and hopefully he can keep improving.”
Having made his breakthrough, Lindelof says that it's now key that Elanga listens to older, more experienced heads who have already trod the same path he is travelling on.
“For sure, he’s got a great future ahead of him,” predicted the 27-year-old. “But he’s young and we have to let him take the time he needs. He’s been playing quite a lot of games recently and performing well.
“When I talk to young players and especially to Anthony, as we’re both from Sweden, I just tell him to listen to the guys who have been in his position before.
“That’s the good thing: there are always people who have been in your shoes before, and they can talk to you about their experiences and what they think is important.”
Six times Elanga has scored for the seniors Video
Six times Elanga has scored for the seniors
Anthony has scored six goals for the seniors: once in 2020/21, twice in pre-season and three times this season...
With experienced forwards like Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani currently at the club – not to mention successful fellow Academy graduates like Marcus Rashford – Elanga has some ideal gurus on hand.
“Do I remember how I felt at that age? Yes, for sure,” admitted Victor. “It feels like yesterday even though it’s a few years back now! When you’re that age and you train with the first team and play games with them, you’re just very happy to be there because you dreamt about it since you were a kid.
“To be in that situation is a great feeling. I remember feeling very happy and I always tried to listen to the older players and tried to take some advice from them.”