Mason Greenwood has not yet completed his first full season in Manchester United’s first team, yet he has had a superior season and has been lauded as the next best thing. His teammate, Luke Shaw, feels that he is going to become a special player at the club, having all the attributes to emulate Robin van Persie.
This season, despite the coronavirus pandemic suspending world football, Greenwood has made a total of 36 appearances for the first team, playing in the Premier League, the UEFA Europa League, the Carabao Cup and the Emirates FA Cup, scoring 12 goals and assisting four more. He has played a total of 1,655 minutes of football for the first team.
Greenwood has taken to the first team like a duck to water, making an impact in many matches he has played with five of his goals scored in the Premier League, another five in the Europa League, the other two in either cup competition. Of course, there has been some matches his impact was minimal, he’s 18 and still getting to grips with the game.
Shaw, 24, has been involved with Manchester United’s official website during the coronavirus pandemic, writing a Lockdown Diary. In the latest part, he spoke about Greenwood, drawing the comparisons with the Dutchman. Van Persie achieved a lot for United, his first season was special. Shaw, speaking about his teammate, said:
“He’s had a fantastic first season in the first team. He’s clearly a natural goalscorer. This season – even though he doesn’t start all the time – his goals return and his stats are great, and he’s got some assists too. For someone so young, in their first season, he’s done brilliantly.
“He’s still got so much to learn, but if he carries on working hard and pushes himself every day then I don’t see why we can’t see him turn into another Robin van Persie or a player of that style that’ll score lots of goals for us.
“Purely the fact that he’s so two-footed, it’s unbelievable. When I was younger, when I played youth football, there was a young lad called Lewis Baker who played with Chelsea, he was always both-footed.
“Him and Mason are probably the only two pure two-footed players I’ve seen. When I was at Southampton, Adam Lallana could also use his left and right very well.
“Also Ravel Morrison was very strong on both feet and we’ve seen a lot of people talking about his potential in recent weeks, but I’d say Mason is stronger on that front.”
Van Persie, in his first season at United, made a total of 48 appearances in the Premier League, FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League, playing 3,696 minutes of football, scoring 30 goals (26 in the league) and 15 assists. Wearing the number twenty shirt at the club, that is exactly what the Dutchman helped to deliver, league title number twenty, the 13th Premier League title. Some achievement.
In total, Van Persie, in his three season at United (2012/13 to 2014/15), the Dutchman made a total of 105 appearances for United, scoring 58 goals, assisting 21 more, playing a total of 7,979 minutes of football for the club. In his relatively short time at United, Van Persie lifted the Premier League title and the FA Community Shield, which made him happy.
If Greenwood could emulate Van Persie during his career, mimicking his ability in the box and his skill to score goals galore, he will be a hit for the club. During his career, which was spent at Feyenoord, where it started and ended, Arsenal, United and Fenerbahce, the Dutchman made a total of 591 appearances, scoring 272 goals and 100 assists. That is some career.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will want to keep Greenwood grounded, as he has done this season. The 18-year-old has some ability and a lot to learn in the game. If United can bring in an experienced striker to guide him during the next few years, the boy could be something beyond special. I look forward to watching this player grow and shine at this club.