Greenwood deserves his chance but even an established striker would struggle at Man Utd right now – The SunSeptember 29, 2019
RIGHT now, it would be a big ask for anyone to play centre-forward for Manchester United.
They have spent a lot of money on strikers who have not produced, so it would be a challenge for an experienced player — let alone a 17-year-old.
While United have left themselves short up front, Mason Greenwood wouldn’t be near the first team if the potential was not there.
He’s scored two goals so far and has looked very good, which may well result in him being handed his first league start against Arsenal tonight.
It’s not his fault the club are having to rely on him at such a young age and he won’t be bothered by that. For him, it’s just a great opportunity.
In my first column of the season I said how wrong United were to leave themselves with just Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial as recognised strikers.
Greenwood was always going to get his chance somewhere along the season, but United have struggled so it’s not exactly like he is going into a great team.
It’s a huge opportunity for him to stake a claim and I have no doubt he will relish it.
I burst onto the scene at 17, scoring a hat-trick on my full debut for Southampton in 1988, ironically against Arsenal.
I’d had a couple of sub appearances before that but I had no time to get nervous as I wasn’t told I was in the team until three hours before kick-off, when Danny Wallace failed a fitness test.
SHEAR WE GO AGAIN
You couldn’t have written the script and it was just a great feeling, even if my manager Chris Nicholl had me in cleaning boots and kit the next day.
As an apprentice I still had to do all that, and it was his way of telling me not to get too excited and to believe all the hype.
All of a sudden you’re on the TV and the back pages of newspapers.
I found it difficult after – I was no longer the kid who had scored goals in the reserves but a kid who had just scored a hat-trick on his debut against Arsenal.
There’s no pressure playing in the reserves and I found scoring goals difficult for the next 18 months.
I wasn’t playing for a top team who created a lot of chances, but I knew I would be given time as the club had that reputation.
It’s brilliant that people are talking so positively of Greenwood.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has spoken very highly of his finishing and the two he has scored have been decent goals.
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