Nottingham Forest may have fallen to a 2-1 away at Arsenal, but Anthony Elanga has given Steve Cooper a reason to be positive.
The £15 million man came on in the 80th minute for Brennan Johnson and made an instant impact by teeing up fellow substitute Taiwo Awoniyi for Forest’s goal.
Swedish international Elanga looked fearless when he came on, with his burst of pace on the counter-attack catching the eye.
It’s all well and good having the pace, but the 21-year-old matched it with his end product by playing a perfectly weighted pass into the path of Awoniyi.
He may have only featured for 10 minutes, but his impressive cameo has certainly displayed the qualities he possesses.
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Electric Anthony Elanga
The former Manchester United winger injected needed energy into the Forest frontline upon coming onto the pitch.
Away from home, Cooper’s side usually set up with every man behind the ball, however, the introduction of Elanga with Awoniyi saw a more direct approach.
Awoniyi, Forest’s top goalscorer last season, allowed for a focal point up front. His strength and hold-up play brings a different element to the Reds’ attack, giving players such as Elanga the freedom to cause havoc.
Havoc is exactly what Elanga caused during his ten-minute stint on the pitch, as demonstrated by his driving run and assist.
His effective cameo has surely given Cooper an eye-opener to what his side can create when being given the freedom to create and not base a whole game relying on counter-attacks.
The combination of the Swede with Awoniyi’s hold-up play and movement in the 18-yard box could prove to be an exciting combination this campaign.