Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand believes Mason Greenwood will end up as a centre-forward, despite playing most of his early football for the club off the right wing.
Greenwood opened the scoring for United in their Champions League game against RB Leipzig on Tuesday, finishing neatly with his left foot after a clever run in behind the highly rated Dayot Upamecano.
Speaking ahead of kick-off between United and Leipzig, Ferdinand told BT Sport: “Eventually he’ll be a centre-forward, a definite number nine.
“He’s a great player, he can hit the ball off both feet equally well, and he’s scoring goals like he scored them in the youth team. It’s a step up in terms of quality level, but he’s doing what he’s done for years and years.
“He’s a player with absolutely huge potential and I think he’s going to go right to the top.”
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Evaluating Greenwood’s opening goal at half-time, Ferdinand said: “The maturity that Greenwood shows every time we see him is one of the most impressive things, other than his finishing.”
Greenwood has endured a difficult spell off the pitch in recent times after he was sent home from England duty in September for breaking coronavirus protocol in Iceland and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was recently forced to deny reports the teenager has been warned over his discipline.
Ferdinand believes Greenwood needs more protection: “He’s a good kid. They don’t get the protection sometimes that they should be getting, from the club or from people around him maybe.
“He’s a young kid, he may have made a mistake, that’s part and parcel of life, it happens. He’ll make more mistakes, but it’s about hoping and praying that he learns from that. I think he’s a top footballer.”