Manchester United’s revival under Erik ten Hag hit an unexpected roadblock in the UEFA Europa League. The Red Devils were coming into this game having won four on the trot and as a result, expectations surrounding them were very high. Unfortunately, Real Sociedad managed to walk out of Old Trafford with a 1-0 victory on the night, proving that there is still a lot of work to be done.
The Europa League is one of the big hopes for Manchester United to get back to their trophy winning ways, after five seasons with no silverware. The start though was nothing to write home about.
Of course, there is nothing to panic about. This is just the first game and Manchester United are still heavy favourites to top the group. Also, this was not their strongest XI either.
One player who is particularly struggling this season though is Anthony Elanga. The Swede just has not got it going, despite making quite a few appearances under the management of Ten Hag, who seems to rate him highly and is known for his ability to develop players.
Manchester United player is struggling to make an impact this season
Elanga has seemed to struggle to make an impact for Manchester United and the game against Real Sociedad was a prime example of that. He looked completely off colour on the evening and was substituted off for another academy graduate, Garnacho, in the 71st minute of the game.
While coming through the youth ranks, Elanga was one of the most highly rated youngsters at the club and expected to develop into a first-team star.
He did make a positive impact in the previous campaign, and at times looked like Manchester United’s biggest threat going forward, when others around him were struggling. But since then, his form has faded away quite a bit.
Thus, one has to wonder whether Manchester United made a mistake by not letting him leave on loan this summer, to a club where he could get regular minutes and be an important figure going forward.