When Mason Greenwood came off the bench for the last few minutes of Manchester United’s opening game of the 2019-20 season against Chelsea, nobody could have predicted what he would go on to achieve. He finished the campaign with 17 goals in all competition, joining an elite club of just three other players to score as many goals as a teenager for United, alongside George Best, Brian Kidd and Wayne Rooney. Greenwood is also the first player since Michael Owen in 1997-98 to score 10+ goals in a Premier League season aged 18 or under and only the third in history, with Robbie Fowler also managing 10 in the 1993-94 season.
It’s hard to remember the last time United have developed a young player who looked certain to make it so early on. His finishing ability is incredible and fans get excited whenever the ball comes to him. Defenders with years more experience are fearful when he runs at them, knowing he can turn either way and strike the ball with either foot.
Greenwood scored five goals in our last seven league games, playing a huge role in bringing Champions League football back to Old Trafford next season.
When asked which player has had the biggest influence on his career to date, Greenwood told reporters that it is Marcus Rashford.
I’d say Marcus, to be honest. He’s come through the same pathway as I have. He’s helped me a lot and he’s done the same. He’s been in my position and knows how it feels. It’s nice to have someone like that and someone to look up to and to play with him is another bonus.
As a result of his impressive performances this season, especially when the pressure was on in those final weeks as we moved from 5th to 3rd in the table, Gareth Southgate has included the teenager in the England squad for the first time.
It’s come quickly. You can be called in at any time and I was called into some Europa League games early in the season and I took my chance really. I’ve just taken every game as it comes and I’ve just been playing my football. Obviously I’ve got a good group of lads helping me there, so it’s all good. Games come quick during the season with the Europa League and other cups so you’ve got be ready and focused, 100 per cent, at all times.
Greenwood is in the team for September’s Nations League games against Iceland and Denmark, with the player coming so far since making his debut for United against PSG in the Champions League. He told reporters what he has learnt during this time.
Just to be level-headed really. You can’t let much get to you. You’ve just got to always concentrate and be ready to play on the pitch. As soon as you lose concentration anything can happen so you need to be always focused and always ready for the opportunities to come.
Greenwood won’t be able be to enjoy some minutes on the pitch representing his country alongside club teammate and inspiration Rashford, who has pulled out of the squad with an injury, but will be hoping to get some playing time ahead of our season starting on September 19th at home to Crystal Palace.