Manchester United: why this starlet will see Europa League as a chance to shine – opinion | OneFootball
Manchester United: why this starlet will see Europa League as a chance to shine – opinion
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Prior to the start of the season, Mason Greenwood may not have expected to feature often this campaign. But with the sale of Romelu Lukaku, and Alexis Sanchez heading out on loan, the English teenager has already been given opportunities, which he has done his utmost to grasp.
He received cameo roles against Chelsea, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton, but soon after made starts in both the Europa League and Carabao Cup. Those two chances handed to him by Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were snatched with both hands, leading to the winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Astana and another against Rochdale, as part of a man of the match performance. Since then he has steadily been afforded more Premier League minutes but is yet to make his first start in the competition this season.
One way he can bang on his manager’s door to ensure he adds to his single Premier League start from last season is by continuing to find the net when called upon in the cups. Against Partizan Belgrade that is precisely what he did by scoring and later assisting for Anthony Martial. Productive displays in Europe for the teenager meant that when Manchester United were a goal down against Sheffield United, staring down the barrel of defeat, Greenwood was called upon and wasted no time in beating the keeper just four minutes after his introduction.
Continually reliable performances in the Europa League will be the foundation of Greenwood transitioning to Premier League starter, Solskjaer has shown he is willing to prioritise youth in the competition after handing three players debuts in the away defeat to Astana.
After Manchester United topped their group, they will avoid facing one of the third-placed sides from the Champions League who drop into the round of 32 knockout stage. Those two-legged fixtures will allow Greenwood to shine once more and give Solsjkaer no choice but to hand Greenwood more starts, as he continues to knock on the door of the first team.
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