Mason: This is everything I wanted as a kid

Saturday 19 December 2020 08:00

Mason Greenwood is living his childhood dream by playing regularly for Manchester United, yet the teenage prodigy is hungry for more and works every single day to improve his game.

After making his first-team debut in March 2019, the Academy graduate enjoyed his first full season with the seniors throughout 2019/20 and impressively scored 17 goals in 49 appearances. 

Mason has netted three times in 15 games this campaign as he continues his education as part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad, most recently starting the 3-2 win over Sheffield United in midweek.

During an interview to preview Sunday’s Premier League match against Leeds United at Old Trafford, the two-footed marksman admits he is constantly trying to improve his game and contribution.
“I am happy and playing games at United, which is everything I wanted to do as a kid,” explains Mason. “I just want to get back on the scoresheet and get involved in more goals, really. People are picking up on some of the stuff I did last season, so I have got to mix up my game and obviously keep working hard in training. I know Ole and the lads have got my back to help me on that.”

Pressed on his desire to improve, Greenwood continues: “It is all about improvement. You have always got to come up with new things because teams will start watching you, like we do with video analysis and stuff like that, so you have always got to have a few tricks up your sleeve.”
That relentless drive to improve is something Greenwood sees every day in new team-mate Edinson Cavani, who has now been one of the great strikers in European football for over a decade. 

Mason admits he studies the Uruguay international in training and is impressed by the 33-year-old’s intelligent movement inside the box, which he is trying to add to his own game.

“Anyone can learn from him, whether it is a young player or an older player,” says Greenwood. “He has just come here and set an example, really. I like the things he does so I obviously pick up on the little things he does. I watch him in training and always have an eye on him, to see what movements he does, so I can add it to my game. So it is a big benefit that he is here at the club I think. 

“You can see the two goals he scored against Southampton were just unbelievable. It was stuff he has been doing for 10 to 15 years at PSG and at Napoli as well, so he is a good footballer.”
United’s last Premier League match against Leeds was way back in February 2004 and Greenwood was only two at that time, but he knows all about the rivalry thanks to his education in the Academy and has experienced youth-team matches against the Elland Road club.

“I am aware of it and I know quite a bit of history at United,” the no.11 points out. “I know the important games against Leeds, there has always been a big rivalry down at Elland Road and obviously at Old Trafford, so it will be a good game at the weekend.

“I obviously played against them when I was a young kid in the Under-13s, 14s, 15s and 16s. Before going into the game, you always knew it was a rivalry like Liverpool and City is. So it is good to see them back in the Premier League so we can have a game like this, because it is good to have rivals.”