Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has leapt to the defence of Mason Greenwood, insisting he has ‘no doubts’ about the direction of the teenager’s career,
Greenwood shot to prominence last season, netting 17 goals in all competitions for the Red Devils and ultimately earning himself a spot in Gareth Southgate’s first England squad of the new campaign.
However, since then, his rise has somewhat stuttered, landing himself in hot water – alongside Man City’s Phil Foden – for breaking coronavirus protocols while on international duty in Iceland and becoming a hot topic in some sections of the media.
While Foden returned to Southgate’s latest England squad and netted a brace in the 4-0 win over Iceland, Greenwood has yet to be recalled to the Three Lions side, with his latest exclusion reportedly at the request of Manchester United boss, Solskjaer.
However, speaking ahead of this weekend’s game against West Brom, Solskjaer has moved to remind the world of just how rapid Greenwood’s rise has been, the teenager still featuring with the U23 side last season.
“The boy’s only 19 and he’s had a fantastic year,” Solskjaer said at his pre-match press conference.
“If we go a year back, I left him out of the Carabao Cup against Chelsea. Mason stayed back and played against Doncaster in the Checkatrade (Trophy) to get game time and that’s how far he’s come. You have to take a step back sometimes.
“Now he’s got 19 goals for the first team, he’s made his England debut, he scored on his first Under-21s game. He’s had a fantastic development.”
Reports earlier this month suggested concerns within the club about Greenwood’s application and dedication to his development, his attitude seeing him left out of United’s most recent game, the 3-1 win over Everton before the international fixtures.
However, Solskjaer has insisted he has ‘no doubts’ about his talented forward.
“Of course the headlines are going to be there about him when he scores, if he doesn’t play,” he added.
“Everyone’s allowed to not be well and if you’re not well, you can’t train. He’s now stayed away, he’s been away eight or nine days from training.
“We’re just starting building him up again. I have no doubts about him. He’s got a very good head on him and his talent is there for everyone to see.”