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Solskjaer likens ‘natural footballer’ Greenwood to Wayne Rooney

Not for the first time, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has praised Mason Greenwood’s finishing ability following the youngster’s two-goal performance in the 4-0 win over AZ Alkmaar.

The Manchester United academy graduate was once again handed an opportunity in the Europa League and delivered another fine performance as the Red Devils sealed their progress to the last 32 as group winners, the youngster netting twice at Old Trafford in what was a comfortable victory.

It was the latest impressive showing from the highly-rated 18-year-old who has scored five goals in all competitions this season, and speaking afterwards, Solskjaer was full of praise for the youngster’s ‘natural’ talent.

“I’ve probably said it all before, so it’s nothing new – that’s what he does,” the Norwegian said in his post-match press conference.

“And tomorrow he’ll probably go in training and score a few more. He’s always done it. That’s just natural for him.

“He’s a natural footballer but the closer he gets to goal, the more dangerous he is.

“Right foot, left foot – nightmare probably for defenders. He needs to develop his heading then he can be a proper striker.”

Hopes are high that Greenwood can establish himself as a fixture in the first-team in the coming seasons, and Solskjaer admits the teenager is as promising a talent as he has seen in football, suggesting he is a better finisher than club-record goalscorer, Wayne Rooney.

“I’ve seen a few good young players. I played with Wayne Rooney, but in terms of natural finishing, Mason is one of the best I’ve seen.”

The forward’s latest impressive performance has seen the clamour for his regular inclusion in the Premier League increase, and the United boss insists he has no reservations about Greenwood’s ability to play top-flight football.

“He played against Tottenham and he was class,” he added. “I’m not afraid of playing him in the Premier League. Not at all.

“But it’s about sharing the minutes and finding the right minutes for him. Of course he is ready to play in the Premier League.”

Greenwood could be offered a chance to once again impress in Sunday’s Premier League game against Everton.

Solskjaer insists Manchester United are ready to ‘fight’ Everton after last season’s ‘shambles’

See also – Mata labels Greenwood a ‘killer’ after AZ Alkmaar brace