“He wasn’t the reason” – Player insists Manchester United exit not Ten Hag’s fault, wanted to take chance elsewhere – Sport Witness

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Written By Maya Cantina

Nottingham Forest forward Anthony Elanga has insisted he was not forced out of Manchester United by Erik ten Hag.

The winger has been speaking to Soccer News in the Netherlands about his departure from Old Trafford last summer and why it came about.

He had been with Manchester United from a young age, originally joining them on a free transfer and going into their youth set up in 2015 before moving up the various ranks and into the first team on a full-time basis in 2022.

He managed 55 appearances in the first team but often found himself playing a substitute role under Erik ten Hag.

While he made 26 appearances under the Dutchman they were often from the bench, with those appearances totalling just 732 minutes of action.

Indeed, the belief was that Ten Hag did not fancy the youngster, with him spending most of the second half of the season either sat on the bench or left out of the squad entirely.

That led to him leaving Manchester United in the summer in a €17.5m deal, a move that has worked out so far as he’s managed five goals and six assists in 23 games in the league so far.

He’s now discussed why he made the move and is keen to insist that Erik ten Hag did not force him out of Old Trafford and to Nottingham Forest.

“Whether Ten Hag was the reason I left United? No, I wouldn’t say that,” he said.

“I just wanted to play, that was especially important to me.

“I’m young and I don’t want to sit on the bench all season, you know? When you’re young you want to play, you want to make mistakes, you want to take risks. But he wasn’t the reason for my leaving.  

“I mainly focused on myself, not on others. Of course, I also saw what he did at Ajax.

“But when you come to England everything is different. He has improved several players, for example Ryan Gravenberch, who now plays for Liverpool.

“But I just wanted to take my chance and go somewhere else. And that was a good decision, because I am enjoying myself at Nottingham Forest.”

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