Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood is one of the best young talents around. The England under-21 international has played 36 times for the Red Devils; he has only been in the starting line-up 16 times though.
Despite starting on the bench most of the time, Greenwood scored 12 goals and registered four assists in the equivalent of around 20 full games (1807 minutes).
It is clear that Greenwood is a world-class talent and can become a great player, but what makes the youngster so special?
Why Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood Is a World-Class Talent
Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood is a prolific goalscorer with 56 goals in his last three seasons. To be able to provide these numbers he has to be a brilliant finisher and he is.
In the Premier League and the Europa League Greenwood only takes an average of 1.3 shots per game. This is quite low for a forward player, with teammate Marcus Rashford taking an average of 3.1 shots per game.
Although Greenwood should be taking more shots, it highlights how impressive his finishing is that he has still scored 10 goals in the Premier League and Europa League, despite his low amounts of shots taken.
Here is a prime example of Greenwood’s smart and good finishing. He comes inside with his left foot and the clear shot to make is to the far post, but the goalkeeper knows this and has already started committing to his right. This allows Greenwood to reverse his shot and catch the goalkeeper off-guard and score. A very intelligent finish.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has shown his praise for the youngster, labelling him as United’s best finisher.
“He is the best finisher we have,” the United manager said. “And he’s one of the best I have ever seen — right foot, left foot, it doesn’t matter. He knows how to score. He is just so sharp in and around the goal.”
Greenwood is a great dribbler of the ball in dangerous areas, he keeps the ball close to his foot, giving the defender next to no chance of taking the ball.
Many fans have likened Greenwood’s style to that of former Red Robin van Persie. Both having great close control and instincts in front of goal, as well as both having a venomous left foot.
He is able to open up space to shoot with his close control, as he did for his first goal for the club against Astana.
Greenwood has the ball inside the box and fakes a shot across goal, the defender then attempts to block the shot, this allows Greenwood the space on the outside to have a clearer shot at goal – which he scores. His close control was crucial in being able to get the half-space to shoot.
Another reason Greenwood can be so clinical in front of goal is since he can play with both feet. This is rare and shows the immense talent Greenwood has.
This gives an unpredictability to Greenwood’s play, with defenders not being able to put him on his weak foot.
Greenwood is naturally a left-footer, but shoots and passes just as comfortably with his right. He took his penalty with his right foot against Rochdale in September 2019.
The youngster explained that he started taking penalties with his right after missing one with his left against Manchester City at under-13 level.
“I prefer my left foot, just about, to my right foot,” he told the club website. “Actually, it happened when I was in the Under-13s. I missed with my left foot against City when I was struggling in a game and ever since I’ve just gone with the right foot.”
Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood is one of the best talents to come out of United’s academy in many years. His first full season in the professional game has been a good one, and he has shown that he has all the attributes to become a top player.