Solskjaer: Greenwood will only get better
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes teenage forward Mason Greenwood is just getting started and we’ll see more from him as he continues to mature.
Greenwood’s strike against Brighton on Tuesday took him to six Premier League goals for the season – the most any player aged 18 or younger has managed in a single campaign since Wayne Rooney, for Everton, in 2003/04.
Mason was also involved in Bruno Fernandes’s spectacular second goal, as he broke away on the counter-attack and lofted a precision ball to the back post for the Portuguese to volley home.
That means the Bradford-born forward has now made 18 goal contributions (13 goals and five assists) in all competitions in his breakthrough season with the Reds, and Ole has backed him to keep having an impact as we head into the closing stages of the campaign.
Highlights: Brighton 0 United 3Video
“He’s getting better,” Solskjaer told reporters in his post-match press conference, conducted via video call from the Amex Stadium.
“You can see clearly that he’s maturing, improving. He’s only 18 still, so we’ll see more from him.
“I’ve said it throughout the year that as long as we get him faced up in and around the box, he’ll create chances for us. But today his hold-up play and his link-up play and his general movement was fantastic as well.”
The way in which Greenwood opened the scoring in the 16th minute – he isolated Seagulls’ centre-back Lewis Dunk, before bamboozling him with a double stepover and crashing a left-footed shot into the corner of Mat Ryan’s goal – has drawn inevitable comparisons with United great Robin van Persie on social media.
The Dutchman, who powered the Reds to our last title with 26 goals in his debut campaign in 2013, scored more goals with his weaker foot (39) than any other player in Premier League history.
Brighton 0 United 3: Ole's press conferenceVideo
Mason doesn’t appear to have a ‘weaker’ foot, as such, and Ole identified his ability to go both ways as just one of the attributes that make him such an exciting prospect.
“Of course it’s great when he can go inside and outside, both to his left and to his right,” the boss added.
“He’s a special talent, a special kid that we’re going to look after, try to develop into a top, top player.
“Of course he’s playing well now, but he’s still young. He’s got things to learn, he knows that, but we’ve got a special talent there that we’ve got to nurture.”