In pictures: Man Utd v Villarreal
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Manchester United coaches have always felt Mason Greenwood was the most two-footed player at the club since the days Sir Bobby Charlton played at Old Trafford, it has been claimed. The England international has started the season well. And he’ll be hoping to put Everton to the sword in today’s Premier League showdown.
When Manchester United signed Jadon Sancho back in the summer, that led to some concerns that Greenwood would become marginalised.
However, the 20-year-old has been a big part of the Red Devils so far this season – scoring three goals from six Premier League matches.
Greenwood experienced difficulties 12 months ago but, towards the end of last term, rediscovered his mojo.
And he’s not looked back since, with the youngster now a huge part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s project at the club.
So talented is Greenwood that Joe Makin, the scout who found Phil Foden for Manchester City, has claimed that United coaches believe he’s similar to club legend Charlton because of his ability to play with both feet.
“We were all after him,” Makin told The Athletic.
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“I’ve still got my little notebook with Mason’s details in. ‘Right foot, left foot, which one is he naturally?’
“The United coaches always felt, right the way through his academy career, that Mason was probably the most two-footed player since Bobby Charlton.”
Now, with Everton up next today, United will be hoping Greenwood can stand up and deliver.
The teenager is expected to be involved from the start, despite coming off against Villarreal in midweek.
However, he was recently left out of the England squad.
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Although he’s looked deadly for United, Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate has snubbed him for upcoming fixtures against Andorra and Hungary.
And United boss Solskjaer reacted to that omission when speaking to the media on Friday afternoon.
He said: “I think Gareth has had a frank conversation with Mason and his family and they know the situation.
“They know he is very keen to play for England and Gareth understands that the boy is only 20, just today he turns 20.
“He is not a teenager anymore. He is going to be a top player for Man United and England.
“He has to be managed in the right way and for us it gives us a chance to work on his fitness and give him a rest because he has been playing very well in a lot of games at a high intensity and he is maturing all the time, getting better all the time.
“So there is time for him to recuperate and get ready for October and the rest of the season.”
Southgate’s decision has been met with a backlash from United fans.
But Martin Keown has defended the England boss, highlighting Jack Wilshere’s demise in the process.
“The manager is telling you they are fatigued, so we just have to take that on board,” Keown told talkSPORT.
“Professionally, the players do need it. I mean, look at Jack Wilshere.
“He’s probably one of the best talents we have seen come out of English football for many years.
“He’s 29 years of age now and he is not playing football. He played too much football.
“You have Arsene Wenger telling us every day he regrets the amount of football he made him play as a young man.
“You have to listen to that.”
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