Mason Greenwood could start Manchester United’s Premier League opener against Chelsea, according to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Greenwood netted his first goal for the senior side on Wednesday, converting from Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s cross to open the scoring in the 4-0 friendly defeat of Leeds United in Perth.
The 17-year-old played three times in the league last season and made his first start in the 2-0 defeat to Cardiff City at Old Trafford on the final day.
And although Solskjaer has plenty of attacking riches at his disposal, including Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku and new signing Daniel James, he is prepared to consider using Greenwood when they face Frank Lampard’s side on August 11.
“He’s got a chance of starting that one, definitely,” he said. “He’s more than capable and will always be there, in and around the box, creating chances. If he keeps going as he does… it’s difficult to keep players out who perform well.
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“Of course, we’ve been delighted with the goal he scored. It’s important for strikers to get that [first] goal, even though we always know he’s capable of scoring goals and maybe that’s a weight off his shoulders. I think his movement, his cleverness, he’s going to be a very good player, the young boy.
“He can play all front four positions, he can play 10, seven, 11, nine, he’s a natural footballer. With his left foot coming in, he can play anywhere along the front line.”
Greenwood has earned rave reviews with his performances at youth level for United and is confident enough with both feet that he often takes penalties with his right and free-kicks with his left.
“He’s almost what you call 50-50, maybe 51-49 left-footed, and you see a talented boy there and he has every opportunity to make it as a Man United player,” Solskjaer said.
“Of course, it’s also going to be about luck, stay clear of injuries, be professional and I’m sure he’s going to grab his chance because he’s got everything there for him.”
Further goals from Marcus Rashford, Phil Jones and Anthony Martial sealed a convincing win for United to follow on from the 2-0 victory over Perth Glory.
“We scored four goals, created a lot more chances than in the last game, so very pleased with the workout,” Solskjaer added to MUTV.
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