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Anthony Elanga compares ‘unreal’ Kobbie Mainoo to former Manchester United star



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Credit: Man Utd

Anthony Elanga joined Nottingham Forest in the summer from Manchester United and believes his former academy teammate Kobbie Mainoo is the next big star at Old Trafford.

It was a move worth around £15 million which led to Elanga’s departure from the club that he spent nine years with and he has since impressed with his new outfit.

Steve Cooper has utilised the winger on the left side – his preference – on several occasions and looked sharp. With four goal contributions so far, it has been a promising start to life at The City Ground for Elanga.

Meanwhile, his former teammate in both the first-team and United’s academy Kobbie Mainoo has been making strides towards involvement for Erik ten Hag’s side in the last year.

The pair played several games together in the under-21s during the 2020/21 campaign when Mainoo was just 16 years of age and now he’s on the cusp of becoming a first-team regular for The Reds.

An injury setback during pre-season has halted that progress, but with the teenager now back fit, it is expected that he has a role to play at Old Trafford this term.

Elanga has been singing the praise of his former teammate who, as he describes, has ‘unreal’ talent.

The Swedish international has compared the 18-year-old’s skillset to that of former United midfielder Paul Pogba. And whilst the Frenchman often splits opinion within the fanbase, it’s undeniable that he had the tools which help a player to succeed at the highest level.

“When I played with him in the academy I always thought he had similar attributes to Paul Pogba,” Elanga told MailOnline. “They are not the same player but just the way he moves and they can both do everything, defensive, offensive, he has a mixture of everything and is really good on and off the ball.”

After Casemiro was forced off against Newcastle United on Wednesday with an injury setback, the upcoming fixtures for United could provide Mainoo with a chance in the first-team.

He played just three times for Ten Hag’s side last term but the manager’s trust in his ability has been clear to see during pre-season and his comments on the youngster during press conferences.

“Kobbie Mainoo [is the next academy star],” stated Elanga. “He is one of my close guys that I still speak to at United and I believe he is next the top one, his talent is unreal.

“He has got everything and I just hope United can look after him really well and let him flourish. He is a top player.”