Rising Manchester United star Anthony Elanga nearly signed for arch rivals Manchester City, according to his former youth coach.
The winger has featured in six first team games for Ralf Rangnick’s side this season after earning his senior debut against Leicester in May last season.
He went on to score his first goal for the club against Wolves on the final day of the campaign.
The youngster made his first Premier League start of the season against Aston Villa on Saturday having featured as a substitute against Crystal Palace and Wolves earlier in the campaign.
Elanga then backed that up with a well taken goal in last night’s 3-1 win at Brentford and he is currently the name on the lips of Manchester United fans everywhere.
But the 19-year-old could have very easily been lining up in City blue having had a few training sessions with the club after moving to England from native Sweden in 2013.
Ian Forder, who used to coach Elanga when he played for Hattersley FC aged 11, said it wasn’t long before both big Manchester clubs came calling.
“City showed interest at first and he had a few training sessions with them,” he told The Sun.
“I had the Under-14s team then and I really shouldn’t have played him – but I wasn’t going to let him play for anyone else.
“Straight away I could tell he had something, he was outstanding.
“He picked the ball up in his own half, went past seven players, around the goalkeeper and side-footed it in. I turned to John (local businessman and friend) and said, ‘Did you just see that?’
“One of the parents was a scout and he contacted United’s chief scout, who looked at him. I think it was an 8-1 defeat but Anthony was outstanding.”
Forder then explained how he first met Elanga, who had initially turned up to take a look at Hyde United.
He continued: “Anthony came to look at Hyde United, who normally trained next to us.
“I could see that he was with his mother and looked rather lost. I just approached him and said, ‘Can we help you?’ and he asked if we were Hyde United.
“I said, ‘No, we’re Hattersley. Hyde normally train on this next pitch but they’ve not turned up. Where do you live?’
“He said he lived in Hyde, so I went, ‘Look, rather than have a wasted journey, come and train with us’.
“He put his boots on and came on. 10 minutes later I’m handing signing-on papers to his mother!
“It really was a cold and wet night then in January. I truthfully believe that’s why Hyde never turned up, so it was their loss. It can be cold in September there!
“But I wasn’t letting him go after those ten minutes. When his mother returned the forms and I saw his age, I thought, ‘I’m not letting you go, lad — you won’t be here long’.”
Forder revealed that Elanga netted 17 goals in 12 matches for his side and provided many more assists in that time.
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