The Manchester United coach thinks Mason Greenwood can become the club’s first-choice No 9, but there’s an area he needs to improve.
After Manchester United eased into the next round of the EFL Cup, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must have been pleased to see Mason Greenwood coming off the bench to complete the scoring.
After being called up to the England squad, the 19-year-old was sent home after breaking their coronavirus protocols in the aftermath of England’s win in Finland.
Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden was also sent home from Gareth Southgate’s squad and missed their match against Denmark.
However, Greenwood is back in the goal-scoring form which is bound to please the Manchester United manager because since the return of football last season, the teenager has given United a real sharpness and dynamism going forward.
Last season, Greenwood made 51 appearances in all competitions, scoring 19 times and crating 5 other goals.
The prolific forward has generally been used out wide for United since breaking into the first team last season, but Solskjaer does think that the England international can become the club’s first-choice No 9. However, he’ll need to improve his heading.
With Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Odion Ighalo all providing competition to be the main striker at Old Trafford, Solskjaer’s words about Greenwood’s development are interesting.
“He had a fantastic season last season. To get his goal was important for him, and Marcus, it is always nice for strikers to get that confidence and that feeling of scoring – to get that hunger again.
“He can play through the middle, I think as a young boy – not physically grown yet – sometimes it is nice to be facing forward instead of being the foil and being the battering ram. I scored most of my goals from just outside the posts as well, I wasn’t in the middle. For him to be a No 9, though, he needs to learn how to head a ball. I keep telling him that and if he wants to do that he is welcome to come and practice with me.”
In terms of the Premier League, Solskjaer’s comments do have merit because Greenwood has scored 10 Premier League goals and none of them have been with his head.
As for Manchester United, they’ll be looking to bounce back from their recent defeat against Crystal Palace when they travel to Brighton on Saturday.