Elanga’s complaint “If I play 5-10 minutes, I don’t get 10 games”
Anthony Elanga (Nottingham Forest), who wore a Manchester United shirt until last season, has expressed his frustration with his parent club for not giving him a chance to play.
“Anthony Elanga brutally criticized Manchester United after the game,” global media outlet Tribuna reported on March 30 (KST).
The Red Devils lost 1-2 away to Nottingham Forest at The City Ground in Nottingham, England, on March 31 in the 20th round of the 2023-24 Premier League season, the final game of 2023.
In the final game before the new year in 2024, United conceded an early goal to Nicolas Dominguez in the 18th minute of the second half before Marcus Rashford equalized in the 33rd minute.
However, just four minutes after the equalizer, Nottingham took the lead again. On a Nottingham counter-attack, Elanga passed to an unmarked Morgan Gibbs-White in the center of the box, and Gibbs-White calmly finished to sink United.
The game ended in a 1-2 loss for United. The loss keeps United on 31 points (10W1D9L) and out of the seventh spot. They also suffered the humiliation of losing to Nottingham in the Premier League for the first time in 29 years, since 1994.
After the game, Elanga was named as one of the key players in the win over United. Elanga, who started on the right wing in a 4-2-3-1 system, played 87 minutes, making one assist, creating three chances, winning two dribbles, and making three tackles.
However, Elanga raised eyebrows in the post-match interview when he complained about his home team. Elanga, who has been at United since the age of 12, left the club for Nottingham in the summer transfer window ahead of the start of the season for a fee of £15 million ($24.7 million), having spent nine years at the club since 2014.
According to the outlet, Elanga told NBC Sports, “Last season was not easy for me. I would play five to 10 minutes and then not play for 10 games,” he said, adding that he was unhappy with United for not giving him consistent opportunities.
“My family supported me. This was a personal game for me to prove that I can play at a higher level.”
According to Elanga, United didn’t give him enough playing time last season. Primarily a substitute, Elanga made 26 appearances in all competitions in 2022-23, totaling just 702 minutes and two assists.
After leaving United for more playing time, Elanga hit his stride at Nottingham. In all 20 league games this season, Elanga scored four goals and provided six assists, reaching double-digit attacking points in the Premier League for the first time since his professional debut.
Meanwhile, Elanga’s performance has made United fans uncomfortable. With the club’s strikers struggling this season, fans breathed a sigh of relief when Elanga, who the club chose to release, performed well.
Currently, the United forward line is suffering from a severe goal drought. The current United strikers with the most league goals are Alejandro Garnacho (3 goals, 2 assists) and Marcus Rashford (3 goals, 3 assists). The league’s top scorer is midfielder Scott McTominay with five goals.
Danish striker Rasmus Højlund, United’s ambitious £72 million signing last summer, has scored just one league goal in the first half of the season. Anthony, a €100 million ($142.4 million) signing last season, has failed to add to his attacking output, finishing the first half of the Premier League with zero goals and zero assists.