Goal of the Day: G is for Greenwood
Our A-Z Goal of the Day series reaches the letter 'G' today, which stands for Greenwood.
A product of United's Academy, Mason Greenwood made his first-team bow for the Reds in the closing stages of our thrilling Champions League last-16 second leg encounter with Paris Saint-Germain in 2019.
Following on from three further appearances at the back end of the previous campaign, Mason has gone from strength to strength this term, making 36 appearances and finding the net 12 times in all competitions.
SIGNING FOR UNITED
A part of our youth set-up since the age of six, Greenwood rose through the ranks with the Reds and was top scorer in the 2017/18 Under-18 Premier League North, with 17 goals in 17 appearances, despite only being 16 at the time.
This fine achievement was rewarded with a place in the first-team squad for Tour 2018, and Mason would go on to elevate his profile further in the first part of 2018/19 with goals in the UEFA Youth League. The youngster signed his first professional contract with the club on 2 October 2018.
With many standout moments to choose from in Mason's young United career, the 18-year-old produced a Man-of-the-Match performance in our 1-1 draw with Everton in December 2019. The 18-year-old slammed a Daniel James pass past Jordan Pickford after an own goal by Victor Lindelof threatened to hand all three points to the Merseysiders.
His goal meant Mason became our youngest scorer in a Premier League match at Old Trafford since Federico Macheda's famous winner against Aston Villa in April 2009 and, at the time, also put him behind only Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho and Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli among the teenagers that have scored the most in Europe's top five leagues this campaign.
Mason experienced his first taste of competitive men's football at the Parc des Princes in March 2019, and he celebrated with fellow Academy graduate Marcus Rashford when the no.10 smashed home the injury-time penalty against Paris Saint-Germain that took Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Reds through to the quarter-finals.
Solskjaer also introduced the teenager off the bench at Arsenal the following weekend, while his first start came in the final game of the Premier League season against Cardiff City at Old Trafford. In May, he was the clear winner of the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award.
His second campaign of first-team football has seen Mason prove that he is a clinical finisher with both feet. The youngster grabbed his first senior goal for the Reds on the European stage, tucking away what proved to be the winner against Astana at Old Trafford. Greenwood would score four more goals in the Europa League, to accompany his seven strikes in all other competitions so far this term.
WHAT THEY SAID
"The closer he gets to goal the more dangerous he is. Right foot, left foot, he is a nightmare for defenders. I've seen a few good ones – I played with Wazza [Wayne Rooney]. But for natural finishing, he's one of the best I've seen. He's a different class as a finisher – in and around the box you expect him to get a shot off and on target. He is so precise with his finishing." (Ole Gunnar Solskjaer)
"I think he will be very good because during every game he tries to copy me. My style, my technique, my left foot, my way of finishing...so, I'm sure he will end up there [like me]." (Robin van Persie)