Why Mason is the second-most experienced teenager

Tuesday 24 August 2021 09:00

Mason Greenwood has started the 2021/22 season in scintillating form, and a new study has identified the Academy-reared star as world football's second most-experienced teenager.

A new report by the CIES Football Observatory – an independent, Swiss-based sports studies centre – lists the leading 100 teenage footballers across the globe, based on their experiences in senior matches during 2021.
And Mason was second only to Barcelona's Pedri in the final reckoning, having scored 10 goals in 36 matches (2,327 minutes) during the current calendar year.
Indeed, but for the injury that ruled Greenwood out of the Euros – and Pedri's involvement at both that tournament and the Olympics with Spain – Greenwood might even have emerged on top.
Greenwood's goals v Leeds and Southampton Video

Greenwood's goals v Leeds and Southampton

Mason is a man in form so far this season: he's scored in both Premier League games so far...

The list is based on minutes and goals, but the stats are also weighted by “the sporting strength of employer clubs or competitions played”.
In other words, the experiences gained by players like Pedri and Greenwood in two of Europe's strongest leagues, with two of its most iconic clubs, is taken into account.
The highest-ranked teenager outside Europe, which contains arguably the majority of the most challenging leagues in professional football, is Matheus Martinelli (Fluminense, Brazil), in fourth, who played more minutes than Greenwood and third-placed Nuno Mendes (Sporting Club, Portugal).

But Mason's prominence in the world-leading Premier League is deemed more relevant.
Our no.11 had a testing spell in the first half of 2020/21, but ended last season on a high. And the 19-year-old has picked up right where he left off at the start of 2021/22, scoring in both of United's first two Premier League games.
Mason's equaliser at Southampton on Sunday was the eighth goal he has scored in his last 10 Premier League games. He is also only the third United player to score 30 club goals before turning 20, after George Best and Norman Whiteside.
90 in 20: Southampton 1 United 1 Video

90 in 20: Southampton 1 United 1

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Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recently suggested that the Bradford-born forward is now “a man compared to the boy that was in the first team two years ago”.
“I like what he has done in pre-season,” continued Ole. “He has worked so hard to get his fitness and he is ready to go.
“He scored a goal from a left-wing position [against Leeds]. He is so effective from the right. He can still be a no.9 and centre-forward [with] the way he drops in. He is a natural footballer.”