Marcus Rashford insists there is more to Manchester United’s Astana match-winner Mason Greenwood than just potential, convinced he could be important sooner than people expect.
United produced a generally lacklustre display against Astana in Thursday’s Europa League opener, winning 1-0 at Old Trafford.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer started Greenwood, Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong in attack, with the teenagers joined by Rashford.
Greenwood got the solitary goal with a smart finish after twisting and turning in the penalty area deep into the second half, much to the relief of the home support.
It was Greenwood’s first senior goal for the club, with the 17-year-old tipped for big things at United.
And Rashford is a firm believer in the youngster, adamant he is already proving to not just be a kid with “potential”.
Rashford told reporters: “For me, people say potential for the future, but if they could see how hard they’re working – I’ve seen how hard Mason works, how hard Chongy works, Angel – the future could be very close.
“All of us have to keep working hard and they’ll get to where they want to be.”
Presenting our youngest-ever goalscorer in European competition: Mason Greenwood
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 19, 2019
Greenwood has made four substitute appearances in the Premier League this term and occasionally looked somewhat nervous.
He struggled to make much of an impact in the first period on Thursday as well, but Rashford scoffed at the suggestion Greenwood may have been struggling under the pressure to deliver at such a tender age.
“I wouldn’t say weight off his shoulders,” Rashford said. “For kids coming through the academy, that weight doesn’t exist for them, because they’ve learnt to deal with that all the way through their careers.
“Since being nine years old, every time they play a game against other academies, Man United is the biggest game of their season, so they put everything into those games.
“They’re used to having pressure to win games, so it’s not a surprise to me when the young ones come on and do well.
“Mason scored, Angel did very well, Chongy in the first half was very good, in the second he found it a little more difficult.
“Because of their work ethic, there’s no doubt you’ll see them again. They keep improving, since they came up to us, they’re always improving.
“For me as a person being in his [Greenwood’s] shoes in the past, to score that goal, I know how he feels.
“Even more importantly it was the goal that won us the game, so that’s the moment everyone should be talking about.
“Mason has been doing well since joining the first team and 100 per cent there’s more to come from him. I’m sure he’s excited and everyone else is as well.”
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