United's Star Boy | The Meteoric Rise of Mason Greenwood

Mason Greenwood was the feel-good story of United’s season as the, recently turned, 18-year-old bagged 17 goals in his debut campaign - putting his name with the likes of George Best and Wayne Rooney as the most goals scored by a teenager for the Red Devils in a single season. We take a look at his rise from the junior ranks.

Breaking into the First Team

Greenwood was talented, and everyone in the United coaching staff knew that but there was also the question if he could do it, week-in week-out, like many other academy graduates (the likes of Macheda, Josh Harrop, etc.) who had shown early promise, but ultimately failed to make it at United. It was expected that last season he would be in and out of the first team, getting minutes in cup competitions while also playing for the reserves so that he gets an ample amount of game time.

However, after the sale of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez leaving on loan, there was suddenly a void in the attacking, and Greenwood was asked to step up - boy did he deliver! He scored 17 goals in the campaign, putting him alongside Wayne Rooney and George Best for the most goals scored by a United teenager. In Peter Drury’s words – “If your name appears in the same sentence as George Best, then you have actually achieved something in life”.

The Story of the Season

Earlier in the 2019/20 season, Greenwood was limited to Europa League and Cup game starts, coming off the bench every now and then to make an impact, and many times he did just that. His impact undoubtedly forced Solskjaer to rethink his position in the squad. It seemed that Greenwood would always make a contribution wherever and whenever he played it was almost impossible to ignore him.

With Dan James’ form fading away, Mason Greenwood made the right-wing slot his own towards the end of the season and was a major reason why we managed to get Champions League football. Through the entire season we were able to see that not only does he have lethal finishing abilities (probably the best I’ve seen so far), he is extremely intelligent and always seems to know when to pass and when to shoot. That doesn’t mean he shies away from a chance, far from it as most of his goals had an xG of less than 0.1 meaning that it goes in less than 10 times out of a hundred.

Being two-footed has caused plenty of problems for defenders, and you simply cannot show him either side of the goal – case in point the game against Bournemouth where he had two shots which ended up in goals from both feet just because one side of the goal was shown to him. He always seems to have the ability to create something out of nothing and is the embodiment of the ‘Never Say Die’ spirit that has be