Mason Greenwood.

Ole: Greenwood's an option for Arsenal test

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Mason Greenwood is ready to step up to the plate in the Premier League.

In his press conference to preview Arsenal's visit on Monday night, the boss had high praise for the way our 17-year-old striker has capitalised on his opportunities in our two most recent home matches, to score his first senior goals for the club.

“In the last two games when he's started, Astana and Rochdale, he's proven that he's dangerous when you get him in the box,” Ole said.

“What's pleased me about him as well in this period is that he doesn't turn down chances to finish.

“When you're not 18 yet and you keep trusting yourself, he gets the chances, so I'm not worried about him at all.”

Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams celebrate Greenwood's goal against Rochdale
Greenwood's strike against Rochdale was his second in front of the Stretford End in the space of a week.

The emergence of Greenwood already has echoes of Marcus Rashford's breakthrough, given the way he scored on his Europa League debut at Old Trafford - just like our current no.10 did, famously grabbing a brace against FC Midtjylland in February 2016. Rashford, of course, followed that up by netting twice in his first Premier League appearance, at home to Arsenal.

Now, with Rashford a doubt and Anthony Martial ruled out with injury, the teenager – who turns 18 on Tuesday – could be given the opportunity to make a similar mark against the Gunners, in what would be only his second Premier League start.

When asked if Mason is ready to kick off against one of the country's top six sides, the boss replied: “Well, he might be.

“We can't just throw him in at the deep end all the time. We've managed him. But he's proved in those games [against Astana and Rochdale] that he's ready for it.

“Now it's the Premier League. I'll have the weekend to think about it.”

Greenwood is just one of several Academy graduates who have been given increased responsibility by Solskjaer this season.

Axel Tuanzebe, aged 21, was handed the captain’s armband in Wednesday's Carabao Cup tie, and Brandon Williams, 19, made his first-team debut by coming on as a substitute. 

When asked to describe how he feels his squad is developing, the boss’s response was ebullient.

“In my own words? For me, it's a team improving, evolving. I think it's a young team, the culture is there.

Axel Tuanzebe passes the ball during Manchester United's win over Rochdale in the Carabao Cup
Tuanzebe captained United for the first time in midweek.

“I see them every single day in training and we don't have any issues with attitude, work rate or desire.

“Now it's [a question of] can we trust ourselves? Can we find that composure?

“You could see against Astana and Rochdale, the boys want to impress, they want to do well and maybe they rushed a finish at times. It's getting there.”

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