Manchester United have already saved millions on electric Anthony Martial replacement

If Manchester United sanction Anthony Martial’s departure this month, they won’t have to look far for his replacement.

Amid the depressing lack of progress since the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer under interim boss Ralf Rangnick, there has been one beaming ray of light in recent weeks in the form of academy gem Anthony Elanga.

At the start of the season, not many would have given the club’s next generation of attacking talent much hope of making the grade at Old Trafford in the immediate future.

The blockbuster arrivals of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho saw competition for places intensify as the likes of Martial, Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard and Amad dropped even further down the pecking order.

That’s why Elanga’s recent success story has been so brilliantly refreshing, he has defied the odds to break into the first-team picture.

“Why didn’t you take one of the young players off?” That was the message from Ronaldo after he was hooked by Rangnick in the 3-1 win at Brentford in midweek.

But if truth be told, Elanga had earned the right to play. Even over a five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

He netted his second Premier League goal for United but his performance and maturity would suggest he will now become a permanent part of Rangnick’s plans for the rest of the season.

The Swede is the latest forward off the United academy’s conveyor belt of talent that has also developed the likes of Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford in recent times.

Elanga’s vibrance and raw, unpolished attributes have brought the entertainment factor back to this United side after weeks of glum, disappointing, mediocrity.

Martial’s future has been at the heart of that narrative, particularly after Rangnick claimed the Frenchman refused to be in the squad for the 2-2 draw at Aston Villa.

Heading into the transfer window, Martial’s agent revealed the player wanted out of Old Trafford this month due to his lack of playing time.

But so far, finding a club to take the winger has proved a challenge to say the least.

Sevilla held talks but could not agree on paying a percentage of his wages while Juventus have failed to back up their interest with a firm offer.

Now, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Martial watches on from the sidelines for the rest of the season if the club struggles to find a suitor for their sulky forward.

In the meantime, Elanga will enjoy riding the wave and he looks set to keep his place in the starting XI to face West Ham for a third consecutive game.

United have now already acquired their replacement for Martial, easing the pressure on any possible departure this month or beyond.

Once again, the club have their excellent academy to thank for saving millions in the transfer market, those funds can now be invested in other areas of the squad that are in need of attention, one being defensive midfield.