Mason Greenwood is a promising player no doubt, but Manchester United have a decision to make this summer.
The Athletic recently reported that United could resist a potential move for Jadon Sancho even at a discounted price, because there was full confidence in Greenwood to star in the right wing position. This stance is combined with needs to strengthen up front and in defence.
While a good show of faith in Greenwood, it doesn’t particularly help him.
Against Palace he had a mixed performance. He put in a very dangerous cross from the right in the first half, which nobody gambled on.
In the second half, Greenwood’s threat from the right was non-existent. He drifted inside so much at one point he was playing as a central striker even while Edinson Cavani was on the pitch, and nobody was on the right except for Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
When Greenwood did have a shot at goal which fizzed just over, this came from a central position.
The Athletic‘s report claimed regarding a potential move for Sancho ‘it is not a situation United are currently understood to be developing,’ because the club are currently committed to Greenwood in this role.
The big problem is that Sancho’s form is becoming too good to ignore, while Greenwood could actually do with some help.
Greenwood is a top prospect who is having a very unproductive second season with just four goals, compared to 17 the last.
Even if he finishes the season strongly, United shouldn’t be fooled. He’s a teenager who will have big lulls in form at this stage in his career. Asking him to do too much too soon will be bad for his development.
The way Greenwood drifted inside against Palace shows that either he naturally wants to play centrally, or the coaching staff believe he is more dangerous there. Whichever the case, it underlines the notion that he may not be the answer United are looking for on the right wing.
Sancho looms large
While United weigh up summer plans, Sancho is making himself harder and harder to ignore.
His form for Borussia Dortmund is really picking up. This season he now has 12 goals and 12 assists in all competitions.
He might have a chance of catching up his tally of 20 goals and 18 assists from last season, or of at least getting close. After a slow start to the campaign after all the summer transfer drama, Sancho is flying again.
United have a few decisions to make this summer, and need to consider the stance on Greenwood and Sancho carefully.
Bringing in a top right winger will take pressure off Greenwood. Deciding not to move for Sancho could not only impact the team negatively, but it could also serve to put more pressure on Greenwood than he is capable of handling at this early stage of his career.
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