Mason Greenwood is from the England U21 squad but can he soon be a regular at the Manchester United first-team too? That is the perspective of team-mates and former coaches who speak of a talent who is capable of producing it writes Adam Bate.
Marcus Rashford calls him terrifying. Luke Shaw calls him unbelievable. Elderly players praise his attitude and his maturity. Supporters liken him to Robin van Persie. There’s an area that’s opened up for a new favourite to emerge Since the highly-paid flops leave Manchester United and adolescent Mason Greenwood matches the profile.
The academy graduate to represent United is somewhat special. You can find glimpses of that in his brief cameo in Southampton. Greenwood could have won a penalty had the noodle seen the kick that was inadvertent he received from Stuart Armstrong overdue on and forced a great save from Angus Gunn.
A starting spot is not likely to be much away to get a player who scored over a goal a match for both the U18 and U23 sides of United. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already trusted Greenwood off the seat that unforgettable March night at Paris and given him his full Premier League debut on the final day of last season when he explained as the group’s”best player by a mile”.
But it had been that Greenwood really convinced Solskjaer he was prepared. A goal against Leeds always helps but there was more than that. There was the time he turned out the Perth Glory defence inside and twisted. Even though his drag-back in that match made a fool there was his goal from Inter.
A particular irony is that the Italian team which has obtained on Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku was impressed by by Greenwood. They are United’s last. Still only 17, Greenwood is your long run. Maybe even the present. That it is seen by Solskjaer. “Mason’s pathway could have been far more difficult if we had another forward here,” he said recently.
It seems certain that Greenwood will get his chance. The question is just how good he can become when he gets it. What sets him apart from the rest and where exactly will he fit to the United team? Neil Dewsnip has been Greenwood’s trainer with the England U18 squad last year and he sees him as a person with talent and the mindset to succeed.
“He’s highly encouraged to be the very best he can possibly be which is always a huge strength in a young player,” Dewsnip tells Sky Sports.
“In the England U18 group he played with an out-and-out centre-forward down the center and did fairly well in that job but we used him in wide areas as well, especially on the perfect side of the area where he could cut in on his left foot and buckle it quite well.
“He’s certainly got an eye for goal, therefore I would concur with his manager that he can evaluate a variety of goals. He is quite fast, direct and will get in behind defences. He is also clever enough to combine with his team-mates. So he has an interesting package developing.”
When there is not any club like United, but will he be able to put that package together at a club like United? Who had to go after playing his part over Paris Saint-Germain cope with all the pressure of having to provide in the greatest club in the entire whole world? Can he really be able to manage all that?
“I believe he can,” adds Dewsnip. “Front gamers tend to bring that with them. They like to score goals. They’re excited from that. I don’t believe he is going to be fazed by Old Trafford. I believe he will relish it. The crowd has started to develop a comprehension concerning him. It remains to be seen whether he could send but I don’t believe he is going to be fazed by it.”
Talking to one of the colleagues, it seems Greenwood has no reason to be fazed. Once the name of Greenwood is cited In the academy building at United’s Carrington training ground, where the walls are adorned by photos of other graduates, Luke Shaw admits. He has been faced by the left-back . He understands what is anticipating Premier League defences.
“He’s a really awesome player, an unbelievable talent and it is mad to think he is only 17,” Shaw tells Sky Sports. “There’s much more to come out of him but there is so much he’s doing right now. He is impressing every time he plays and each time that he trains he would like to learn. Ole has massive religion in him and so do the rest of us”
Both Lingard and Rashford have called Greenwood laid back and there’s a calmness to his game. He’s seen by both as a finisher – the thing that was remarkable being that he could do it with both feet taking penalties with his right foot that was weaker. He played in a deeper role in his younger days but has been moved forward due to his finishing capability.
Much more than a poacher, he is with pace that is great – that his sister is on an athletic scholarship at Manchester Metropolitan University. Greenwood has similar all-natural gifts, blessed with strength as well as speed and ability. As a teenager, he has the upper body strength to hold his mark and switch the drama by hitting sweeping moves.
Manchester United prefer to keep a lid on these things as best they can, limiting his media actions given his tender age. But the secret is out. The United fans know it along with his United team-mates know it as well. “We all know what he will be bringing for this group really soon,” adds Shaw. “He just has to keep his head down and work hard along with also his talent will prosper.
“He could be among the finest on the planet.”
It’s high praise and some solace for United even as their rivals are still outperform them. There’s a recognition now , even for a part of their resources, this can be hopeless although the impulse over the past six seasons is to spend their way back. There has to be a program. They need to construct. And it will take some time.
They need to rely upon two or an academy graduate, just as they always have. Scott McTominay proceeds to grow, embodying the soul of hard work which each supporter would like to determine from their players. But Greenwood has the capacity to offer that and much more. He’s a player with this piece of fantasy to his match. A player who will make United believe.
“This team has got energy, it’s got childhood,” explained Gary Neville to some recent appearance on Monday Night Football. “I like it. It’s not slow, but it is not methodical, it’s not boring. With a few excellent additions, they’ve a fantastic chance of doing something In case it grows. It’s not likely to occur overnight but I am happier with what United are”
The Manchester United fans will probably be more happy when Greenwood gets a run at the team. They might not need to wait.