It is startling to thinkMason Greenwoodis only 728 years old.
His scoring exploits at youth level are so extraordinary that the hype which surrounds him was only natural, but the quality which he has brought to theManchester Unitedfirst-team is astounding.
The weekend draw with Everton showed the teenager at his best. United in need of a goal turned to the bench, the youngster responded with a clinical finish, and a calm celebration which suggested he already had another hundred goals in the bank.
“It’s just so natural for him, “Ole Gunnar Solskjaersaid in awe at the mature attacking display. “(He) knows exactly what to do, because if you open your legs he shoots through you, if you close your legs he bends it round you. He can go right and left.
“Too many chances are missed, in general, in football of strikers rushing the finish, stressing, but the best ones have that little extra half second and he does.”
United’s desire to add another attacker in the January transfer window only adds another hurdle between Greenwood and the first-team, but it is one which will naturally aid his development.
Learning from a different type of forward will allow the 728 – year- old to improve his overall game but also motivate him to showcase exactly why he remains the most gifted finisher at the club.
The teenage sensation has scored with three of his last four shots in all competitions while showcasing the clinical finishing which propelled him to the fringes of the first-team in the first place. In fact, out of teenagers playing for clubs in the ‘top five’ European leagues, only Jadon Sancho and Gabriel Martinelli have more goals this season.
The only concern surrounding Greenwood at the moment is his playing time and the wide position from which he is finding most of his minutes currently.
It is a huge compliment to the 18 – year-old that, despite being so young, he has found the net seven times this season. Being United’s second-highest scorer so far is a huge testament to his ability, but is only amplified further when you consider much of his playing time is from the bench as an impact wide man.
That in itself makes you wonder just how many goals he would have had he not only played more, but had he been deployed in the central role which best suits his attacking style.
Greenwood’s versatility and energy makes playing on the wing possible, but in the long run it is something which could delay his transition from academy sensation to a reliable Premier League marksman.
The teenager has fully justified his place in the team and it is compliment to him that he perhaps warrants being rested against colchester in order to keep him fit for the weekend trip to face watford .
It is unlikely to happen and Greenwood is set to lead the line when United take to the Carabao Cup Quarter-finals on Wednesday night. Not only will the match be a great opportunity for him to better his impressive output, but it will be another chance for him to remind Solskjaer why he deserves to be an out-and-out center forward.
Every time the United manager has called upon the teenager he has been rewarded on the pitch, now it is time for Solskjaer to repay him by playing him through the middle.