Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has declared that ‘the sky is the limit’ for home-grown forward Mason Greenwood, who is becoming an increasingly more important member of the first-team squad.
Greenwood scored United’s opening goal against Brighton this week and then provided an inch-perfect assist for Bruno Fernandes to make it 3-0 later in the game. In his first full season as a professional player, the 18-year-old has 13 goals to his name.
His performance on Tuesday night even led some fans on social media to suggest the club may not need to sign Jadon Sancho this summer. And while perhaps not to be advised in terms of long-term squad depth, it is a wonderful sentiment all the same.
“We have done well over the course of the season, giving him more and more exposure, more and more game time,” Solskjaer told a video press conference, via ManUtd.com.
“You know, it's not easy being a young boy, he could still play in this season's FA Youth Cup team, so he's a young boy that we have to look after,” the United boss added.
“But he's performing from the bench or when he starts, and he's developed fantastically this season. So, the sky is the limit, it's up to him.”
Solskjaer also addressed how Greenwood might fit into the team longer term. The teenager, while a natural striker, isn’t a typical ‘number nine’ able to play with his back to goal. Yet despite a preference for more technical play, he is working on all aspects of his game.
“You can see some centre-forwards who like their back to the goal, get over the ball, link it, which Mason is improving on. His body is filling out and he can play that position.
“But I think we can see him like maybe we have done with Marcus [Rashford] and Anthony [Martial] as well, they're good centre-forwards, very good footballers, good goalscorers, with good movement, they're not stuck between the posts.
“Mason is way ahead of where I was when I was 18 or 19, that’s for sure. He’s a brilliant boy to work with, he keeps on learning and he keeps on making better decisions.
United will face relegation threatened Bournemouth at Old Trafford in their next outing on Saturday, hoping to add another win to their current unbeaten run and put even more pressure on Chelsea and Leicester above them, who are now within two and three points respectively.
? Ole on #MUNBOU: "I don't think it will be an easy game — they'll come here and fight for points.— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 3, 2020
"They're one of the best teams in the league for set-plays, but if we play to our best, we'll create enough chances to win the game."#MUFC pic.twitter.com/N7nFIeQd58
In other United news, Solskjaer refused to comment when quizzed about transfer target Jude Bellingham, who is now reported to be on the verge of joining Borussia Dortmund.
“Well, there has been loads of speculation and we’ve been linked with very single talented player from the age of 15-25. I can’t comment on every single player that has been linked with us. So, no, I can’t really comment,” Solskjaer said.