An error of judgement from Mason Greenwood with England in early September could pay off for Manchester United.
Gareth Southgate left him out of the England squad and this has meant Greenwood has been able to rest up over the past week.
For Manchester United this is a case of perfect timing, with Anthony Martial suspended and new signing Edinson Cavani unavailable.
Greenwood has been playing out on the right wing, where he has had a tough start to the season.
He has had seven shots at goal this season in the Premier League, with only one landing on target.
Mostly Greenwood has been too isolated out wide, leading him to snatching at shots when he does get opportunities.
The teenager ended the season as an asset out on the right, but he has not played with the same spark he ended 2019/20.
So this break over the past fortnight will have done him good, providing the physical and mental rest he needed, even if he didn’t know it.
Now it’s time to step up
Greenwood on the right has long been taken as a temporary measure, one which could continue throughout this season with Cavani now signed.
This weekend may be Greenwood’s only window in which to step up as a central striker.
United need him to, whether this is as a lone striker in a 4-2-3-1, or as part of a two with either Marcus Rashford or Odion Ighalo in a 3-4-2-1 or 4-4-2.
What United did not need was for Greenwood to go off on international duty and come back tired or injured.
Instead Greenwood’s omission has been an absolute gift for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at a time he needs it.
Greenwood has one goal this season in the Carabao Cup and it won’t be a surprise to see him get on the scoresheet this weekend in the Premier League.
The teenager netted a thumping strike in the 4-1 home win against Newcastle at Old Trafford last December and United need to give him a central role this weekend and let him show what he is capable of.
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