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Haaland dilemma, Greenwood’s comments and Pogba’s view

For well over a year now, Manchester United have been glancing admiringly at Erling Haaland.

Their interest began when he was at Red Bull Salzburg, and with his spectacular goalscoring record at Borussia Dortmund he is the man they have been unable to escape.

It is no secret that United are big admirers of Haaland – but they are not alone.

The Red Devils are facing a serious battle to try and land the 20-year-old this summer with a bidding war expected before his £68million release clause kicks in next summer.

Having kicked-on to second place in the Premier League table, it is generally considered a striker needs to be United’s next priority to take the next step.

Club legends have been vocal in their calls to make Haaland their No.9 of the future, including Rio Ferdinand demanding his former club “go and give everything to get Haaland”.

Man Utd are amongst numerous clubs eyeing a summer move for Erling Haaland

“We can’t afford to let this guy go anywhere else,” Ferdinand continued.

“Be the guy that brings trophies back to Man Utd and brings the successful period back.”

There is general consensus that signing Haaland would solve the position for a decade or more, given the time he has on his side.

But it could well be that United have a solution right under their nose – and it will give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a big decision to make.

After a tricky start to the season, Mason Greenwood has found his goalscoring form in recent weeks and underlined exactly why he is tipped for a bright future.

Whilst he has regularly played out on the right flank, Solskjaer has admitted he could well have a future as a central striker in the long run.

“I have been really impressed and happy with his development this season,” Solskjaer said last week.

Mason Greenwood has reminded Man Utd of his talent in recent weeks
Mason Greenwood has reminded Man Utd of his talent in recent weeks

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

“But I think we have found a good way to develop him and he might end up as a No.9.”

Greenwood this week responded to those comments and made it clear that, in an ideal world, he sees his future at No.9.

The signing of Haaland would seemingly close off that possibility for the foreseeable future.

“Long-term I want to be in that No.9 role but if I play on the right or in that No.9 role wherever the manager picks me or tells me to play I’ll go out there and do my best,” Greenwood told Stadium Astro.

Greenwood has told Solskjaer he sees his long-term future as a No.9
Greenwood has told Solskjaer he sees his long-term future as a No.9

Whilst it is Haaland that has generated headlines around the world, there has been no shortage of buzz around Greenwood from those close to him.

In recent weeks, both Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba have come out to lavish Greenwood with praise.

“He’s a talent that comes along probably every 10 years – but I’d probably say longer,” said McTominay.

“He’s that good, the way he finishes, the way he moves.”

Pogba, meanwhile, made it clear he shares a similar view by predicting Greenwood will become a world-class striker.

Paul Pogba has made it clear he views Greenwood as a striker with world-class potential
Paul Pogba has made it clear he views Greenwood as a striker with world-class potential

“Mason is a big-talented player that we had from our academy,” the midfielder told Sky Sports. “He can go to the highest level, world class, it just depends on him.

“He has to work hard, harder than everyone, believe in himself and want it.”

The dressing room view on Greenwood is clear – he is a precious talent who could well carve out a future as a central striker in the coming years.

If those predictions are correct, then there may not be a need to spend big on Haaland.

Whether United will have the courage in their convictions and the confidence in Greenwood’s talent to pass up on Haaland is another question and a dilemma which they must consider carefully.




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