According to recent reports making the rounds, especially in the English media, Manchester United forward Anthony Elanga is currently attracting interest from a couple of clubs not just in the Premier League but in the Championship as well. The 20-year-old is said to be assessing his options and wants to think about his future as soon as possible in a bid to try and earn himself more game-time at the club. The breakout of Alejandro Garnacho this season so far has made him slide further down the pecking order under Manger Erik ten Hag at Manchester United and it is not looking beautiful in any way for the Swedish international.
With the 2022 FIFA World Cup looming and just around the corner, Elanga is aware that a continued time on the sidelines without regular football minutes will pose a huge threat to his chances of making the Sweden World Cup squad and reports are already gathering pace that the youngster will be interested in making a decision about his future in the coming weeks.
Fair play to ten Hag, the manager has used Elanga a couple of times this season but the forward has not been able to establish himself or made a huge statement with any of those opportunities that he has been given. And sources close to his camp are stating that this is due to the fact that he has not been getting enough game time, thereby lacking match rhythm as well.
Brighton are said to be one of the clubs interested in taking him on loan from Manchester United and even though there is no official news or agreement in place between the two clubs, if things continue to hot up and Elanga keeps getting sidelined by ten Hag, he may then decide that it would be best for him to take a step further in his career and leave Old Trafford.
Moldova will still have to go through one more hurdle to arrive at their opponents for the 2022 Nations League campaign. Their Nations League C status from the 2020/21 edition has still not been decided after finishing last in their group. Moldovan football has not witnessed the best of times over the course of the last couple of years. In addition to finishing last in the UEFA Nations League C Group 3, Moldovan football also finished last in their group during the qualifiers for this year’s FIFA World Cup tournament on Qatari soil. The Moldovans were in the same group with top spot recipient Denmark, Scotland, Israel, Austria and the Faroe Islands. Denmark won the group to automatically qualify for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, while Scotland were runners-up and will have to go through the playoffs next month to qualify for the tournament.
In the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League C3, Moldova came last in a group that had teams such as Slovenia, Greece and Kosovo. The punishment for finishing last in the group for Moldovan football is a playoff clash with Kazakhstan to determine if they will stay in League C. On their part, Kazakhstan also finished last in Group 4 as far as League C of the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League campaign is concerned.
Moldova will play hosts to Kazakhstan in the first leg of their playoffs on March 24, before Kazakhstan host the second leg five days later. The winner of the two-legged playoff will remain in League C, while the loser will drop down to League D.
If the Moldovans drop down to League D, they will face Andorra, Malta and Liechtenstein in Group 1. The same applies to Kazakhstan. Whoever retains their League C status from Kazakhstan or Moldova will take on Slovakia, Belarus and Azerbaijan in Group 3.
The current football era has been the one where we have seen most cases of former players going on to become managers either for the teams they played for in their career or some other clubs. The continued occurrence of this scenario has opened an even bigger window of opportunities to players currently nearing the end of their playing careers as it is becoming even more likely that they may be able to return to their respective clubs and become managers in the future. We have already seen cases like Olé Gunnar Solksjaer at Manchester United, Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa, Patrick Vieira at Crystal Palace, Frank Lampard at Chelsea (formerly) and at Everton (presently), and others in the Premier League alone this season.
There are some other players as well who, at the end of their footballing career, are expected to take up managerial duties, such as the likes of Andres Iniesta, David Silva, and others. Silva, a Manchester City legend, is a popular name among City fans and this will make it even more possible for him to emerge as manager for the team later in the future. Pep Guardiola is the current manager of the Etihad Stadium outfit but from the look of things, there have been several clues that he may not be in that position for a very long time to come and this has led to talks about the possible candidates that could eventually take up the role at a later time.
Silva has been asked what he thinks about the possibility of becoming a Manchester City manager and he has not ruled out that possibility. After spending a lot of years as a City player before finally leaving some years ago, a statue of him is expected to be unveiled outside the home ground.