Mason Greenwood – the rise of a player capable of showing his ability at the top level and taking the world by storm


Mason Greenwood is a player that many hold an excitement to see break into the Manchester United first team this coming season. The 17-year-old had a period in the first team under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last season and he was a player who left the supporters wanting more. Perhaps, if he was given more chances, the season could have played out differently.

On the final day of the season, with United facing already relegated Cardiff City at Old Trafford, losing 2-0, Greenwood started the match and could have scored himself a few goals, which may have ended the season in a much better mood for United. However, it was not meant to be. It does not take away the talent that Greenwood has though.

Solskjaer seems to rate the teenager highly and United supporters will be expecting to see the player during the pre-season tour, in which United will face Australian side Perth Glory on Saturday. During his press conference on Wednesday, Solskjaer spoke about Greenwood, indicating that he would get a chance this season, saying:

“You saw Mason in the last training session. Bang, bang, bang. Three goals.

“He could have had five goals against Cardiff but didn’t score. If a striker gets into a good vein of form, he will score goals.

“Mason will definitely play more games. He has grown over the summer and I think his confidence has grown too after the Cardiff game, as he was our best player.”

Bringing youth through the ranks at United is part of the philosophy of the club but over the past six years, that seems to have been lost in translation with corners being cut, money being wasted and United ending up being run poorly by the hierarchy of the club, which saw David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho sacked.

Solskjaer is now tasked with rebuilding his United squad and getting the best out of them. Over the course of last season, hints were given by the manager that youth would be the direction that he would take in bringing the club back from the brink, which is how it felt last season with players not putting in the effort.

With 54 goals conceded in the Premier League alone and United stalling after that night in Paris where they beat Paris Saint-Germain and set up a quarter-final place in the UEFA Champions League against Barcelona, all was good at the time but after that, everything fell out of place. So much for some supporters suggesting that the team was good enough and it was the manager making the mistakes.

Greenwood seemed to bring it all back, add some excitement and make supporters think ahead of what he could achieve. The lad played with so much confidence, it makes you wonder what he is destined to achieve in the game. Marcus Rashford, who also added excitement by coming through the Academy and taking his chance when it came, spoke about Greenwood’s development and whether he could challenge teammates, saying:

“Yes, 100 per cent. For me, he’ll definitely get more game time. Everyone’s just enjoying watching him develop and grow, you know because that step up from Academy football to men’s football can be difficult.

“He had a good game against Cardiff on the last game of the season, so that’s put him in good stead for the position that he’s in now.

“So hopefully he just keeps on going and keeps working hard, and then I don’t see why he can’t play.”

The Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award winner will be looking ahead at his chances under Solskjaer this coming season. T~he way he played against Cardiff was great to see. Bags of confidence and talent and the eye for a goal, despite not actually scoring. If United can strengthen the squad in midfield, defence and bring in a right winger, all could be well this coming season as United look to get back on the right road.

Greenwood will be taking any chances he gets in pre-season, which should be easy for him to get in the early matches against Perth Glory on Saturday and Leeds United on Wednesday before venturing in the International Champions Cup where they will face Inter Milan in Singapore and Tottenham Hotspur in Shanghai. From there, United will travel to Oslo to face Kristiansund before the final game of pre-season, against AC Milan in Cardiff.

By this time, Greenwood should have had a few opportunities to show Solskjaer and the coaching team what he is capable of and perhaps from there, some plans could be made in order to get him into the first team, with chances to see if he has the talent, stamina and ability to break into the top level tier of club football, just like Rashford did more than three years ago.

Greenwood has shown that he can play at all levels of football at United, scoring goals galore for the U18s, U19s and U23s in the past season alone, showing his class on an off the pitch and setting himself a career track at the Theatre of Dreams. ~It was players like Greenwood that Manchester United is renowned for over the years, players with something special wanting to achieve the impossible.

It may be early days for Greenwood and I don’t want to add pressure on him, but the kid has a talent and the will to develop it in order to be banging in the goals at first team level. At 17, to have his confidence and make his debut in the Champions League away to PSG, he must have something special about him. That talent needs to be tapped into, developed and maybe then, he can be a first team regular. The future for Manchester United is exciting with Greenwood coming through the ranks.

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