Manchester United

Erik ten Hag handed fresh Man Utd headache after Anthony Elanga comments on Sweden role

Anthony Elanga has explained that he prefers the position he plays at international level for Sweden rather than his role for Manchester United.

The talented 20-year-old netted his first goal for his nation in Sunday night’s Nations League clash against Norway and the United forward put in an impressive performance.

Elanga played on the left side of attack for Sweden, whereas at United he is more frequently seen playing on the right.

Elanga enjoyed somewhat of a breakthrough campaign at Old Trafford last season as he made 27 appearances for the Red Devils.

Yet he was most frequently seen playing in a right-sided role with Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford more frequently deployed on the left for United.

Yet the forward has now explained that he believes he can be more effective and a bigger goal threat playing in his more natural left-sided position. Naturally right-footed, this position would allow Elanga to cut inside and make different type of runs than when starting on the right.

Speaking to Fotbollskanalen after the match, Elanga explained: “It suits me very well. At United I play a lot on the right but now I get the chance to play on the left, that is my favourite position. I can do more there. I can go both inside on the pitch and also the outside.”

Such comments are likely to hand a fresh headache to incoming United boss Erik ten Hag, who will be considering how his side will line-up next season.

With Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard among those players leaving as free agents, United are notably light on attacking players.

Sancho starred on the right side for Borussia Dortmund but he was deployed on the left at United under boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the Norwegian’s successor Ralf Rangnick. That was the position which Rashford had most frequently played for United.

Elanga’s hopes of playing in that position may complicate the planning further, and also may prompt United into investing in a player who is most natural on the right-side of an attacking role.

The forward’s goal on Sunday night was not enough to stop Sweden from falling to a 2-1 loss against their Scandinavian rivals.

Elanga said of his goal: “I’m glad I scored, but I’m disappointed we lost. It’s been 17 years since we last lost to Norway, so it’s tough to take. We saw how they celebrated with their fans. It was tough to take.

“When the match was over, I longed for Oslo. I want to win against Norway. As they celebrated here, I want to celebrate in Norway.”

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