Ralf Rangnick happy for United U18s after reaching FA Youth Cup semi final 26 February 2022

Asked specifically about Elanga, Rangnick said the current Under-18s crop should be looking to the 19-year-old for inspiration.

“He’s the best example of what can happen in two or three months,” Ralf insisted.

“When I came here at the beginning of December, he had already had on his own mind [that he was leaving on loan], almost left, it was only about to which club he should go on loan.

“For me, it was clear after the first training session I saw him that this was an interesting player, and we should rather consider to keep him in the club. This shows what is possible in football with a top mentality, a professional mentality and hopefully he can be a person they are trying to improve and develop their careers in a similar way.”

Elanga, of course, is not the only Academy graduate in the first team. Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard are others in the outfield positions, as well as goalkeepers Tom Heaton and Dean Henderson. Hannibal has also been training regularly with the group and travelled to Spain in midweek.

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