Mason Greenwood on target to develop into Manchester United first team player

Mason Greenwood has begun the process of graduating from a youth player to a member of the senior squad with his short but symbolic debuts in both the UEFA Champions League and Premier League. The 17-year-old centre-forward first made his debut Champions League appearance replacing Ashley Young, then continued a milestone week by coming on for Nemanja Matic in the defeat to Arsenal.

While these are very short appearances, and Greenwood didn’t get any chances to put up some stats for himself, for a 17-year-old to be given a chance to make their senior squad debuts in both competitions is a huge show of faith by the Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, as well as the rest of the coaching staff. It is something to boost the morale of Greenwood, and remind him of how far he can go with hard work.

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Even more important is that fact that Solskjaer boosted his motivation with just a small taste of what could come in the future. Entering the pitch late in matches gave Greenwood the feeling of playing in a packed stadium. He has now been exposed to the noise, the lights, the cameras, and even better he also has now felt the nerves of coming onto the pitch in massive fixtures such as Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal away.

Greenwood also wasn’t able to participate in much during his short debuts, nor did he score, which will result in him only getting hungrier to be able to start a match of that magnitude, or get more time at least as he grows. Greenwood’s youth squad performances have also been quite impressive, and a good sign that he is on track to graduate from the youth squad over time.

The 17-year-old has made 22 appearances in the youth league competitions, including the U18 and U23 Premier League squads, as well as the UEFA Youth League, and the FA Youth Cup. In all competitions, Greenwood has found the back of the net 22 times, also registering six assists, giving a good insight into not only his abilities but also his consistency in regards to goal scoring.

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With him evolving as a player and United’s injuries becoming a growing concern, Greenwood’s involvement with the senior squad will increase over the next few seasons. Assuming United stay in the Champions League, Greenwood’s ability to move from centre-forward to left wing if needed, and with the attacking positions already lacking depth, even without the Champions League, the odds are that his time will increase.

Greenwood is currently out through illness, but his expected time away is only about 10 days. Hopefully, once he returns fans be treated to a few more cameos of the young player before the conclusion this season. One thing though is for sure, Mason Greenwood is a player on the rise and a player that excites. This is what the DNA of Manchester United is all about.

Written by Joel Dulka

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