May 14, 2021

Man Utd

News

Man United hint at plan to delay move to convert Mason Greenwood into a striker

3 min read

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has no plans to move Mason Greenwood into a centre forward role at Manchester United just yet, insisting his game is better suited to playing out wide.

Greenwood has been tipped to eventually emerge as a striker at United, but Solskjaer believes any move into a central role is still a couple of years away at least for the academy graduate.

The 19-year-old has returned to form in front of goal in recent weeks, but Solskjaer believes his all-round game has improved considerably this season, even if he hasn’t got the same rewards as he did last term.

Greenwood now has 24 goals for United in 96 appearances and Solskjaer has regularly praised his finishing ability, but he says there’s more to his game than just the goals.

In warning against moving him centrally too soon, Solskjaer explained how escaping the attentions of the central defenders was currently helping Greenwood thrive.

“Mason isn’t just a natural finisher – he’s a natural footballer. He is so smooth and he’s matured so much this season,” said Solskjaer.

“You can see his body has developed and he’s getting stronger. His consistency is getting better and better and he will start scoring more goals, that’s for sure.

“I have been really impressed and happy with his development this season. He’s come through that difficult patch as a stronger person and a better player.

“Maybe in the future he can play as a central striker, but I still think that’s a few years away.

“Being a centre-forward in the Premier League is probably the hardest position to play.

“At the moment, I think Mason is more suited to playing that wide role, dropping into pockets, finding space and running in behind.

“I don’t want him with his back to goal and having two centre-backs up his backside. I think we have found a good way to develop him, but he might end up as a No 9.”

Greenwood has had an elite centre forward to learn from this season in Edinson Cavani, who took his tally for United to nine with a goal against Granada on Thursday night.


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United are still waiting for a decision for the 34-year-old on whether he plans to stay at Old Trafford for a second season, but Solskjaer believes master and apprentice have struck up a good relationship this season.

When United signed Cavani in October last year Solskjaer mentioned his experience and he hopes Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial will have benefitted from the experience of playing alongside the Uruguayan.

“Playing with Edinson Cavani has been a top example. Edi leads by example even though the language barrier has made it a bit difficult,” he said.

“But Mason and Edi have struck a very good relationship. I can see that Edi really appreciates Mason’s talent, his hunger and his willingness to learn.

“And in Edinson Cavani, he is learning from one of the very best.

“It’s like when I speak about having Sir Alex Ferguson as a manager. If I couldn’t learn from him then there was no point in going into management.

“If Mason, Marcus and Anthony can’t learn off Edinson then they can’t learn from anyone.

“He is a very good example to every single one of them.”

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