Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave some bad news to the Premier League and defenders of the club currently in the league, or looking to be – Mason Greenwood is only going to get better. The 18-year-old has risen in form this season, scoring his 13th goal of the campaign in the 3-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday evening.
Greenwood, ever since exploding on the scene earlier this season, has become the most prolific youngster in the Premier League since Wayne Rooney. In 25 Premier League appearances, the 18-year-old has scored six goals this season, adding one assist. In all competitions, the player has 13 goals at first team level, assisting a further five goals, in 40 appearances.
In the victory over Brighton, Greenwood also got an assist, turning provider for Bruno Fernandes’ second goal of the match, United’s third, effectively securing the victory, although that was probably done as Paul Pogba assisted the Portuguese midfielder before the half-hour mark of the match, which was a great performance from United at the Amex.
Greenwood is also the first United player to scores six Premier League goals before turning 19, which might be a record he holds for an extended period of time, depending on whether future stars from the youth team follow him in the same respect. Solskjaer claims that Greenwood is the best finisher at the club and will get better, saying:
“He’s getting better. You can see clearly that he’s maturing, improving. He’s only 18 still, so we’ll see more from him.
“I’ve said it throughout the year that as long as we get him faced up in and around the box, he’ll create chances for us.
“But today his hold-up play and his link-up play and his general movement was fantastic as well.
“Of course it’s great when he can go inside and outside, both to his left and to his right.
“He’s a special talent, a special kid that we’re going to look after, try to develop into a top, top player.
“Of course he’s playing well now, but he’s still young. He’s got things to learn, he knows that, but we’ve got a special talent there that we’ve got to nurture.”
Former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had earmarked Greenwood as a star three or four years ago, suggesting that the club had found a new star at the time, saying: “I think we have found one.” Greenwood would have still been at school at the time and will show that the manager which guided the club to 13 Premier League titles still had it back then.
Greenwood has literally risen from the academy and adapted as a first team player without many opportunities to test himself at the level, seemingly like Marcus Rashford did before him, coming through the youth ranks during Louis van Gaal’s tenure at the club, filling in for Anthony Martial due to injury in the Europa League against Midtjylland, scoring a brace, then doing the same against Arsenal days later.
United really have something special in Greenwood and to see Ferguson calling hims a star, when he was about 14 or 15 will be a big achievement for the player, which is already onto bigger and better things at the Old Trafford club this season. This season will only motivate the 18-year-old more, which could be something that sees him become a star for both club and country at some stage in the not too distant future.