Sunday, November 27, 2022

Ole Gunnar responds to Greenwood’s proposal of his best playing position.

Ole Gunnar responds to Greenwood’s proposal of his best playing position.

Ole Gunnar responds to Greenwood's proposal

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not know whether Mason Greenwood favors the hard knocks of being a career center-forward.

Greenwood is in line to make his 100th Manchester United debut when Solskjaer’s side look to finish the job in their Europa League semi-final against Roma, taking a massive 6-2 lead to the Stadio Olimpico.

The 19-year-old forward came off the bench to achieve the rout at Old Trafford last week before being denied the chance to continue that form when fan demonstrations saw last weekend’s scheduled encounter with Liverpool deferred.

Greenwood has played most of his football over the past two summers as a right-winger, but Solskjaer warned a keen eye for goal is not the only quality needed when it comes to being a specialist striker.

“The Liverpool game was going to be his 100th game and we spoke about getting the winner in that,” he said.

“We’ve spoken about whether he’s going to be wide right or be a number nine, because you’ve got to stick your head in there.

“He’s a pretty boy and I’m not sure if he’s going to do that.

“Keep doing what he does, he’s got a very bright future, I’m sure of that.”

Greenwood netted 17 goals across all competitions for United in 2019-20, matching the best season by a teen in the club’s history – level with George Best (1965-66), Brian Kidd (1967-68) and Wayne Rooney (2004-05).

The going has been more difficult this time around, with 10 goals in 46 games across all competitions.

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Last term, his 10 league goals came from efforts with a combined xG value of 2.9 (39 shots), a huge over-performance.

In 2020-21, he has five top-flight goals – a shade over an xG of 4.6 (56 shots).

United great Gary Neville believes Edinson Cavani committing to another year at Old Trafford would be beneficial for Greenwood and Marcus Rashford, and Solskjaer gave a guardedly positive update on talks with the veteran Uruguayan.

“We’ve had some good chats lately and even though the decision is still in his court, I’m still hopeful,” he said, Cavani’s masterful showing of two goals and two assists to demolish Roma still fresh in the memory.

“And maybe even more so when you saw him on Thursday against Rome and telling him ‘when you do that in front of the Stretford End [with fans in attendance], that’s magic’.”

United’s striking choices will be somewhat reduced in the Italian capital, with Dan James “still out for a little while”, according to his manager.

Solskjaer added that Anthony Martial could feature again for United this term, despite initial concerns, a knee injury suffered on international duty with France would bring an untimely end to his campaign.

“Anthony’s looking good. He’s just about started outside jogging, which is the first step on the rehab,” he explained.

“He’s done most of the work in the gym and to see him out there getting some fresh air is good. Hopefully we will see him before the season is out.

“He’s supporting the team, he wants to be a part of the final and he’s working hard to be available before that.”

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Ole Gunnar responds to Greenwood’s proposal of his best playing position

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