Summoned for the first time with England for the matches of the League of Nations against Iceland on Friday and Denmark on Tuesday, the young Manchester United striker, Mason Greenwood, which is already compared to the greatest, represents the future of an attack a team brimming with talent.
In his first season in the Premier League, at just 18 – he will turn 19 on October 1 – Greenwood has caused a sensation.
With 17 goals in his backpack with the ‘Red Devils’ among all competitions, he equaled a few figures in the credit of only three other players, including the legends George Best and Wayne Rooney.
With a goal or a goal pass – he gave five this season – every 117 minutes, he is much more decisive than his childhood idol (every 147.5 minutes). Much more meritorious figures since when Rooney arrived at United he already had 67 games played in the Premier with Everton, for the three that Greenwood added at the beginning of last year.
In a club that regularly trains good players, despite its onerous transfer policy, Mason Greenwood always raised high expectations.
Coming to the club at the age of six, three years after Rooney did, he was able to see the best scorer in United history up close for ten years, with 253 goals in 13 seasons at the club.
“I always looked up to Wayne Rooney … he was my role model,” Greenwood confessed to club television in November.
And when MUTV asked him what he liked the most about the forward he replied: “His shots. He could shoot from anywhere. He was able to mark from all angles and from any distance“.
A quality also demonstrated by the young attacker, whose powerful and precise strikes have wreaked havoc this season.
Based on the shots fired in the Premier League, the statistical probabilities reveal that he should have registered 3.39 goals, but scored 10, that is, 6.61 more than the average.
Some figures that improve the average of shots-goals of Jamie Vardy, top scorer in the Premier, Kevin de Bruyne, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Harry Kane.
“He scores with his left, with his right (…). He’s at the level of Wazza (Rooney)”, he praises him Andy Cole, another old glory of Old Trafford, in the magazine The Athletic.
“FOREVER IN MEMORY”
But his surgical precision throws aren’t his only virtue. Greenwood also masters the art of dribbling.
“When he enters the area and if he can move his legs, it is a nightmare for the defenders, I saw it in training,” he confessed Harry maguire.
During the stoppage forced by the covid-19 pandemic, he gained corpulence and muscle mass to present more battle in man-to-man duels, a deficiency he suffered at the beginning of the season.
“Mason is still only a young man, but this period of confinement did him a lot of good. At that age the boys gain body and he seems more and more like a man,” he admitted. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on the three kilos more of muscles with which the forward appeared in the return to work.
Although the absence due to injury of Marcus rashford could offer him the first minutes with the selection of the Three Lions, for Greenwood it will be difficult to find a hole in a line of attack that has Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling, two consecrated scorers and the confidence of Gareth Southgate.
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