Anthony Elanga believes Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood have proven there is pathway to the first-team squad at Manchester United.
Elanga was named last season’s Jimmy Murphy youth-team player of the year and is exciting supporters who keep a close eye on the club’s young prospects.
The 18-year-old enjoyed a taste of first-team action under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this summer as he came on as a second-half substitute in United’s only pre-season friendly against Aston Villa at Villa Park.
The Swedish teenager was first spotted by United seven years ago and has impressed as he has risen through the age ranks.
The mass exodus of talented young players on loan, including Dylan Levitt, James Garner and Tahith Chong has left Neil Wood’s Under-23 side depleted this season but Elanga has stepped up as a key figure.
Elanga has netted three times in eight starts this term, helping the young Reds qualify from their EFL trophy group with a game to spare.
But Elanga is not content continuing to impress at age-group level and sees a realistic pathway to the first-team under Solskjaer at Old Trafford.
“You look at the likes of Mason and Rashy, there is a pathway there,” Elanga told the PA news agency.
“It just shows you that if you’re willing to put the work into it and continue to work hard day in, day out in training there’s a pathway for you there.
“Obviously we’ve got a manager in Ole trusting the youngsters, so there’s a pathway there and I’ve just got to keep working hard.
“In training I’m always working hard and the way that I train is the way that I play.
“You can see that in the results and I’m just happy at the moment, I’m enjoying my football.”
Greenwood and Rashford, as well as established first-team squad regular Brandon Williams can provide great inspiration for United’s academy prospects targeting a first-team spot.
Solskjaer has proven that there is a natural progression to his side, if the talent and hard work is there.
Elanga is likely to line-up for Wood’s U23 side tonight in their final EFL trophy group game away to Morecambe.