Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has disagreed with former England player, Michael Owen, over Anthony Elanga at Old Trafford.
Ferdinand raised huge doubts over Elanga by saying that the United winger will not emulate the club’s legends, Ryan Giggs or Wayne Rooney, while Owen thinks the other way.
Elanga scored the only goal as the Red devils drew 1-1 with Atletico Madrid in the Champions League round of 16 first-leg tie on Wednesday in Spain.
“He’s made a difference when he’s come on,” Owen told BT Sport. “If I saw him playing for any other team, I’d say, ‘yeah, this kid’s got something and he’s going to be a good player.”
“But when I see them coming through Manchester United they have to be special, special. They have to be world class.
“Is Elanga and players like that going to take you to the league title or win the Champions League? Are they like Ryan Giggs or Wayne Rooney coming through?
“He’s a very, very good player, but if I’m being brutally honest, if you’re asking me what I think of him, I think he’ll have a fantastic career, but he’ll do very, very well to be a Ryan Giggs or a Wayne Rooney.”
But, Ferdinand believes Owen is wrong to compare Elanga’s impact to that of either Giggs or Rooney when they were the same age.
“What he [Elanga] brings is an energy, a desire, fearlessness,” said Ferdinand. “There’s not enough in this Man United team at times.
“I think to expect to have a young player come through like a Rooney or a Ryan Giggs is blue-sky thinking, that’s like generational-type stuff.
“I think Man United aren’t in that place now. They need sound characters, sound people, honest, hard-working players who you can build around.”