Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that forward Marcus Rashford will be available for Thursday’s Europa League quarter-final tie with Granada.
Rashford was substituted in the second half of Sunday’s 2-1 win over Brighton after being caught by a late challenge – an injury which came just weeks after he was forced to withdraw from international duty because of a different problem.
His involvement in Thursday’s fixture was obviously up in the air as a result, but Solskjaer has now revealed that Rashford can expect to play some part in the game after passing a late fitness test.
“Marcus is travelling and we’ve just got to make a decision if he starts or is on the bench,” Solskjaer told a press conference (via Sky Sports News). “I don’t think he’ll be a 90-minute man, but we’ll see where we are tomorrow.”
The news will come as a huge boost to Solskjaer, who has already lost Anthony Martial to what could be a season-ending knee injury.
With the boss keen to rotate his squad and keep his senior players fit, there is a spot in the travelling squad for another academy starlet, 18-year-old forward Anthony Elanga.
The Sweden youth international, who has six goals and two assists in 12 matches for United’s Under-23s this season, signed a new contract in March and has been part of the first-team bubble alongside other youngsters like Amad Diallo and Shola Shoretire.
“I’ve got faith in the young lads, of course, and, in Anthony, we have a player with good skills, a great attitude and he scores goals from either the right or left, and he’s got good pace,” Solskjaer told the club’s official website.
“He’s not just there for experience, he might actually play a part, who knows? He’s got that X-factor and I like players with speed and acceleration and he’s definitely got that.”
He continued: “Anthony will be in the squad, he’ll be on the bench. He’s impressed when he’s been in training with us. He was very unlucky two or three months ago, when he got a bad injury and he worked really hard to come back because he was just due to move into the first-team squad back then.
“He has got some X-factor, some attributes. It’s not like a gift, but the pace and acceleration and speed that he’s got, that’s a given for wingers. When he’s got that speed, he’s always got qualities I like. He’s a goalscoring winger, he’s confident. He likes to beat men and can finish with his right foot and left foot and he’s got a great attitude.
“He has an appetite and hunger to improve and when he’s been training with us, he’s not been fazed by it. He’s confident. He’s not just here for the experience, he’s ready to play a part if he has to.”
For more from Tom Gott, follow him on Twitter!