Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood is one of the best that Nicky Butt has ever worked with, according to Jamie Redknapp. The academy graduate, 18, has impressed massively in his first season as a first team player, making 38 appearances, scoring 12 goals and four assists in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side this season.
Butt used to be the head of the clubs academy but during last summer, he moved within the club and is now the head of first team development, acting as the official at the club that will guide other academy graduates into the first team, similar to what happened at the club during Sir Alex Ferguson’s near 27-year reign of the club.
Butt is probably one of the best candidates for this role at the club, overseeing the academy for a number of years, now using his experience, as he came through the academy as a member of the Class of 1992, who achieved so much at United, including winning the treble at the club during the 1998/99 season.
Butt came through the same academy group as Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, David Beckham, and Phil Neville, not to mention Ryan Giggs, who was already a first team regular when the other five broke through. Butt though suggests that Greenwood is the best talent he has ever worked with. Jamie Redknapp confirmed the following:
“I remember talking to Nicky Butt about eight months ago. He said Mason Greenwood was the best young player he’s ever seen at Manchester United.
“That is some statement considering all the players they’ve produced, like the Class of 92. There’s nothing he can’t achieve with his pace and power.”
Greenwood seems to have gone so far in a short period of time and during the lockdown cause by the coronavirus pandemic, the player has developed into an athlete, showing that he is taking everything seriously. Granted, it might take some time to adapt a bit more and start showing the player he is at the highest level in club football.
Butt is not the only former United player that highly rates Greenwood. Former right-back and captain Gary Neville feels that Greenwood was the best rising star at the club. The 18-year-old reminds me of Marcus Rashford based on his rise from the academy into the first time to becoming one of the best players that the club. Neville, when asked who he believed was the rising star at United, said:
“I would say Mason Greenwood. He can be anything he wants to be. He just looks like he’s got such great composure and quality. He’s great physically as well.
“If he continues to emerge like he’s shown at times this season I think Manchester United have got the real deal there.”
Solskjaer is happy with Greenwood too, especially after returning to the club after the lockdown with the club initially returning to training packed with muscle. With the Premier League run-in already commenced and United returning to Emirates FA Cup action this weekend against Norwich City. Solskjaer, speaking about Greenwood, said:
“Mason is a young boy. He’s still 18 and this lockdown period has done him all the good in the world. At his age, they do develop and fill out and Mason’s looking more and more like a man, so definitely it will help him.
“Sometimes early on you could see he was a kid. Now in training he can use his strength better and he has done really well over the three or four weeks we have been training now.
“And his quality in front of goal has always been there and now he has muscle to push defenders away. I am not sure it was deliberate but the fitness coaches have worked really well with him.
“He has got the rest and recovery period after for him what must have been an intense first full season with the first team. He is looking good.”