Sun. Mar 7th, 2021

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Solskjaer thinks Mason Greenwood can play in a new position for Man United

4 min read

The pay-off of Mason Greenwood’s new Manchester United contract was he had to attend his first press conference, albeit a virtual one.

Greenwood, 19, and nearing the second anniversary of his United debut away at Paris Saint-Germain, was flanked by his manager as he settled in for his first exposure to external media at the club’s Carrington training complex on Wednesday.

Although he will not turn 20 until October, Greenwood has been involved in the United senior set-up since he was included in their pre-season tour squad as a 16-year-old in 2018. He was off limits to even the sponsors on their last tour of Australasia and Asia, forbidden from speaking at a rooftop hotel launch in Singapore the day after lashing the winner past Inter Milan. It will not be long until Greenwood is no longer regarded as a youngster.

He has four goals so far this season and it is a reflection of Greenwood’s current form his displays have been heralded without any numbers to back it up.

The forward tallied 18 goals last term, becoming only the fourth United teenager to hit the 17-goal barrier in a single season. After an underwhelming first half in the current campaign, Greenwood feels he is nearing the lofty level of last term.

“Yeah, 100%,” Greenwood said. “I feel like I’m getting back up to where I was last season. I’ve been here since the age of seven and it’s the place I want to be. Hopefully I can get back up to the standards I was up to last season and I’m working hard with all the coaches so hopefully I’ll be back there soon.

“I don’t mind [where I play]. I could play anywhere across the front three. I can play on the right, up front and even sometimes on the left. For me, it’s just about adapting into any position I go in. If it’s up front or on the right, I don’t really mind, really. I’ll take it as they come.”

Greenwood answered four questions before he vacated his seat next to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who felt the teenager was too modest with his reply.

“Mason was a bit shy there because he can play No.10, as well as a shadow striker,” he clarified. “He can play right, centre forward, 10 and, at a stretch, maybe on the left. We just have to give him time to find his final position.

“He’s a forward who moves really well along the line at the moment at his age and at his development. Physically, sometimes you don’t want to be right up in the mix and in the middle with the big brutal centre-backs next to you. So I think we’ve found that he can play both really.

“That will be in the next year or two, if he’s going to be a No.9 or a forward or, as I said, as a shadow striker, in and around the goal. Definitely, we need him there even though his link up play and general play has improved a lot.”

The coaching cachet of Solskjaer, a renowned finisher during his 11 years up front for United, had a huge bearing on Greenwood’s rapid rise from the youth team to the first-team in 2019 and the United attack was bolstered by the expertise of Edinson Cavani in the summer.

Cavani, 34, has cemented his status as United’s prime centre forward and United have not lost a game when the Uruguayan and Greenwood have started together.

“They were both amazing players,” Greenwood said of Solskjaer and Cavani. “And obviously Edi is still playing and is still an amazing player.

“It’s good to have both of them around in training, as I’ve been watching Edi. He’s a top striker, watching his movements, the way he heads the ball, the way he gets into the right positions, it’s always a benefit to have a player like that.

“Ole has been my coach, it’s good to listen to him and see what he has to say about position and stuff. So it’s a positive to have them both there.”

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