Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hailed Mason Greenwood as a natural No.9.
While the Manchester United boss continues to be linked with a £100million-plus move for Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, his belief that Greenwood has what it takes to eventually become leader of the attack suggests Solskjaer will be looking elsewhere for reinforcements this summer.
Solskjaer feels Greenwood has grown in both body and mind this season after overcoming the shame of being booted out of the England squad for breaking pandemic protocols in Iceland in September.
Greenwood is now back to his best – and his manager insisted: “Mason isn’t just a natural finisher – he’s a natural footballer.
“He is so smooth and he’s matured so much this season.
“You can see his body has developed and he’s getting stronger.
“His consistency is getting better and better and he will start scoring more goals, that’s for sure.
“I have been really impressed and happy with his development this season.
“He’s come through that difficult patch as a stronger person and a better player.
“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, 19, has scored three goals in his last five appearances after hitting the net just four times in his previous 38 outings.
Solskjaer believes the Yorkshireman still has some growing up to do before he is able to mix it physically with central defenders.
But he feels Greenwood has benefited hugely from seeing how veteran Edinson Cavani is still proving to be a handful at the age of 34.
Solskjaer said: “Being a centre-forward in the Premier League is probably the hardest position to play.
“At the moment, I think Mason is more suited to playing that wide role, dropping into pockets, finding space and running in behind.
“I don’t want him with his back to goal and having two centre-backs up his backside.
“Playing with Edinson Cavani has been a top example. Edi leads by example even though the language barrier has made it a bit difficult.
“But Mason and Edi have struck a very good relationship.
“I can see that Edi really appreciates Mason’s talent, his hunger and his willingness to learn.
“And in Edinson Cavani, he is learning from one of the very best.
“It’s like when I speak about having Sir Alex Ferguson as a manager.
“If I couldn’t learn from him then there was no point in going into management.
“If Mason, Marcus (Rashford) and Anthony (Martial) can’t learn off Edinson then they can’t learn from anyone.”
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