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Man United could land Elanga upgrade in Luiz Henrique

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has already moved to bolster his squad with the loan signings of Jack Butland and Wout Weghorst this month, although the indication is that the Dutchman could well be looking to strengthen even further in the near future.

According to Spanish outlet ABC Sevilla, the Red Devils – along with Premier League rivals Arsenal – are said to be keeping a close eye on Real Betis sensation Luiz Henrique, having reportedly sent scouts to watch the winger in action on multiple occasions this season.

The 22-year-old – who has been valued at around €35m (£31m) by CIES Football Observatory – only joined the La Liga club over the summer but he has already made a big impression under Manuel Pellegrini, scoring three goals and providing five assists in 22 games across all fronts this term.

The promising Brazilian – whose existing deal in Seville is set to run until 2028 – had previously caught the eye as a result of his displays at former club Fluminense, chipping in with 14 goals and 13 assists in 118 games in all competitions.

Although evidently not prolific, the youngster does appear to pose a menacing threat from his right-wing berth. The dazzling left-footer was recently lauded for his dynamic flair by Spanish football expert Graham Hunter, who stated that Betis “have a fantastic, characterful, thrilling young winger on their hands”.

The respected journalist was writing after the forward’s stunning display in the Spanish Super Cup defeat to Barcelona, with Henrique having notably produced two assists and registered four key passes in that clash, subsequently earning a standout 7.9 match rating from Sofascore.

The 6 foot sensation also illustrated his defensive prowess after recording an impressive haul of five tackles and winning 100% of his aerial duels on the night, with such an all-round talent likely to prove attractive to those at Old Trafford.

Should Ten Hag opt to snap up the wide man any time soon, it could well allow United the chance to finally offload academy graduate Anthony Elanga, with the Sweden international having been heavily linked with a loan move to Everton of late.

Although the Red Devils may be keen to keep hold of the 20-year-old due to the lack of depth in attack, the arrival of Henrique could well help to hasten the Swede’s exit, with Elanga currently “suffering” due to his “rushed” exposure into the first-team, according to journalist Muhammad Butt.

The Malmo-born speedster has failed to score and registered just a solitary assist in his 18 appearances in all competitions this season, having last got on the scoresheet in the draw away to Atletico Madrid last February.

Those woes were laid bare in the recent Carabao Cup triumph over League One outfit Charlton Athletic, with the nine-cap dud having been rather anonymous after having just 26 touches in his 84-minute display, winning just a solitary duel and providing no key passes.

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That illustrates the differing quality between the United attacker and Henrique, with Elanga struggling to impress against lower-league opposition, while the Betis dynamo appeared to thrive against the mighty Blaugrana.

Ten Hag may also be impressed by the Brazilian’s willingness to defend from the front, as he ranks in the top 1% in Europe among those in his position for tackles made over the past 12 months, while Elanga only ranks in the top 20% in that regard.

All the evidence appears to point to the argument that Henrique would be a notable upgrade on the young Swede should he arrive at the Theatre of Dreams, with it seemingly no surprise that the Red Devils are monitoring his progress so closely.