Mason Greenwood has come back a man
It's not just the new shorter haircut that has changed about Mason Greenwood since he returned to training after lockdown.
Manchester United's talented teenager looks bigger and stronger, even to fans paying the slightest attention to our regular videos and photographs from the Aon Training Complex.
It has not gone unnoticed by another Academy graduate, Scott McTominay, who has increased his own power in the gym in the past. During an exclusive interview with us to preview Friday's first game of the restart at Tottenham Hotspur, the Scotland international admitted the 18-year-old is almost like a different player.
When asked about the youngsters training with the squad, Scott replied: "They have to be ready as well. They're young boys but that doesn't mean you're not necessarily going to get an opportunity under this manager in Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer]. He has been top class with young players and you cannot fault him in terms of the way he has managed the younger players and boys like Mason.
“You see Mason and know he's getting a little bit stronger and more like a man. And, for us, in training, it's been good seeing him making that step to really maturing now.
“He is taking the gym really seriously and everything he is doing really seriously and looks a different player, to be fair. These are exciting times for him as well."
Greenwood will be competing for a place against Spurs and trying to enhance growing reputation, as manager Solskjaer has a number of options in attack following the return to fitness of Marcus Rashford and extension of Odion Ighalo's loan move from Shanghai Greenland Shenhua. Furthermore, Anthony Martial had been in good form in the centre-forward position before the pause in action, benefiting from Bruno Fernandes's promptings and scoring in four of his last five starts.
The boss selected Mason in his XI for the reverse fixture at Old Trafford in December – a 2-1 victory thanks to a brace from Rashford – and has also been impressed by the England Under-21 striker's work at the Aon Training Complex.
"We had some injuries," said Ole of that period. "Anthony wasn't really fit to come in, but I was never in doubt to start Mason, because he is a top footballer.
“He's just going to grow and grow and those experiences will stand him in good stead for the rest of his career and he played really well in that game. His positioning, his movement, he caused a lot of problems for them.
“So for me, I'm looking forward to seeing more of him. He's always going to score goals, he's filled out over the lockdown period and his performances in training have been great as well, so I'm sure he'll have an impact towards the end of the season."We are all United as the Reds go marching on! On sale now, get your 2019/20 kit while stocks last.