Mason Greenwood could get the start for Manchester United against LASK up front, ahead of Odion Ighalo, with Anthony Martial expected to be rested.
United’s official website explained how Greenwood has an opportunity to break three records with further goals this season, as he looks to increase his tally of 17. A home match against LASK is an ideal chance, and Greenwood can benefit from playing centrally rather than being out on the right.
Another way in which United can help Greenwood out is if Solskjaer does as many expect him to, by starting Ethan Laird at right-back.
At right-back, Laird will also benefit from having Greenwood in the centre, a player he knows well already, on and off the pitch.
It may slip the memory that Greenwood dropped down into the under-23s for a game in October to get some game time under his belt, after a run without matches, mixed in amid international breaks.
Greenwood played an hour in an under-23 victory over Stoke, and scored, thanks to an impressive run and assist from Ethan Laird on a counter attack, who knew exactly where his teammate would be in the centre.
They have a connection
The pair know each other well, and combined for a win over Valencia in the UEFA Youth League in 2018/19.
Speaking after that victory, Laird praised Greenwood and spoke about their connection.
Laird told the club website: “Mason’s a great finisher. I always think to myself, when I get in and around the box, who can I find? Mason is always in there and I’m glad he put it in.”
Speaking about their relationship off the pitch, Laird said he enjoyed getting to know Greenwood more while on England youth international duty.
He explained: “It was good experience with Jimmy (Garner) and Mason as well. Yes [that helps] because it’s familiar faces to have a bit of chemistry with your own team-mates. You’re playing in the youth team with them but learning new stuff about them you may not know at United.”
When Greenwood dropped back to the under-23s last October their link up was instinctive. Laird is a full-back with a strong attacking side to his game, and Greenwood can help accentuate it and help the young defender shine.
Laird is looking to make his third appearance for United’s first team this week against LASK, and this time he has benefited from spending the whole of July training with the first team.
This will lend itself to building more connections in addition to the one he shares with Greenwood, while also giving extra time for the pair to work together.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka is and will remain Manchester United’s first choice right-back at the start of next season, just like Anthony Martial will begin as the club’s first choice centre-forward.
But two or three years down the line it may be Laird and Greenwood locking down those positions, in fact it would not be a surprise at all.
The pair may get a chance to show what they are capable of together on Wednesday night.
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