Teddy Sheringham is not concerned Mason Greenwood is merely playing a supporting role to Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United, believing it is better to play out of position than watch from the sidelines.
Greenwood broke into the United team as a winger but has long been considered their future at centre-forward.
The 19-year-old started in that position against Leeds United on the opening day of the Premier League season and scored in a 5-1 win.
However, five of his subsequent six starts in all competitions have seen Greenwood stationed on the right wing, while he also occupied the flank after coming off the bench in the EFL Cup defeat to West Ham.
Greenwood has not added to his tally of three goals this term since Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford.
Ronaldo is not the only player standing in Greenwood’s way either, with Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial also getting opportunities up front, while Marcus Rashford will soon return from injury.
Greenwood has taken 11.87 per cent of his 337 touches in 2021-22 in the opposition box, ranking fifth for United in this regard behind Martial, Cavani, Ronaldo and the now departed Daniel James.
But the England international’s 24 shots are only bettered by Bruno Fernandes (29), also the sole United player to make more than his eight appearances.
Indeed, having featured in 634 minutes, trailing only David de Gea, Fernandes and Paul Pogba, former United forward Sheringham feels Greenwood will benefit from being in the thick of the action.
“I think he’s a fantastic player,” Sheringham told Stats Perform. “He’s obviously not being played in his natural position as a number nine or number 10 at the moment, but he’s still a young man.
“He’s still learning his trade, and you would rather learn your trade on the pitch but not in your position, rather than being off the pitch watching the game as a sub waiting to get in that position.
“He’s still learning the game, he’s still involved in these big games, and that experience can can be great for him.”
Greenwood played 89 minutes on the right against Villarreal on Wednesday, in which time he had one attempt and created two chances.
He was then replaced by Jesse Lingard, who assisted Ronaldo’s vital winner in a last-gasp 2-1 victory in the Champions League group stage.
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