Mason Greenwood’s emergence for Manchester United means the club made the correct decision not to replace Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku, says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Greenwood’s first senior goal earned United a 1-0 home win against Astana in their first Group L game as the Europa League got underway on Thursday.
The forward was part of a young United team, also featuring Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes, as Marcus Rashford wasted a string of first-half chances.
With 17 minutes to go, Greenwood came up with a delightful winner, with Solskjaer backing the 17-year-old to develop further in the absence of Lukaku and Sanchez.
Greenwood became the youngest European goalscorer in United history and Solskjaer indicated a new contract could be on the cards for the talented teenager.
“For me it was the right decision for the club and he’s going to be important for us this season,” Solskjaer told a news conference. “He’s not played a lot so far, but he’ll get minutes.
“We’re always in talks with the boys about how we see the future and Mason’s one we want to keep with us.”
— Harry Maguire (@HarryMaguire93) September 19, 2019
Greenwood was making his second start for the club, having been handed his full debut at the end of the 2018-19 Premier League season.
“If you get him inside the box you know something’s going to happen,” Solskjaer added of the teenager. “He can go inside or outside and it was a great finish through the keeper’s legs.
“For sure it’s natural for him to play football, it’s natural for him to score goals, in and around the box he knows how to hit the ball.
“Maybe he hit it too hard in the first half and maybe he should have curled it a little bit more, but he shows glimpses of what he can become.”
A big night for @NemanjaMatic…
First time as captain
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 19, 2019
Solskjaer, though, accepted United’s overall performance was not necessarily up to scratch.
“When you don’t score in the first half from four or five massive massive chances, you always wonder if it’s going to be one of those nights when you get punished for being sloppy,” he said.
“I didn’t feel confident we’d win the game until the referee blew his whistle. We didn’t play the last 10 or 15 minutes well and these boys need to learn that.”
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