All season long the right wing has been a conundrum for Manchester United.
In truth the issue goes back a lot further. It was a role Jose Mourinho could never figure out, with the blame lying firmly with United’s recruitment team.
It is this desire to sign a player to fill this void which has led United towards the ongoing pursuit of Jadon Sancho [Telegraph].
So it is notable then, that with the Sancho saga nearing the transfer window which could bring it to completion, that United appear to have found an internal solution for the right wing, in Mason Greenwood.
Greenwood has started United’s last two Premier League games out on the right wing, in wins over Sheffield United and Brighton.
This came after an impressive cameo against Tottenham, after Dan James blew his audition.
While James is a work in progress, Greenwood already is the real deal. He looks a natural out on the right, and is especially dangerous when he cuts inside and bears down on goal.
Playing out wide allows Greenwood to get on the ball more than he would if he started up front, and he is making the most of it.
His goal last night against Brighton encapsulated everything he is good at. He is unpredictable, in a nightmarish way for defenders, and he has a lethal shot on him.
He showed how his all round game is developing with an outrageous cross from the outside of his boot to set up Bruno Fernandes for United’s third goal.
Room for both
Don’t get this twisted. Manchester United will still be pushing to sign Jadon Sancho this summer.
But right now, this season, Greenwood has seen off rivals James and Juan Mata for United’s right wing berth.
The front three of Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford is so dangerous for teams to deal with, that it is inevitable in each game that at least one of them will score.
For the rest of this season, it is Greenwood’s spot, and in the big games, he is likely to keep Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s trust until further notice.
Next season, the potential arrival of Sancho will give United an extra selection headache, but a positive one. There is no reason to suddenly shy away from the deal.
Sancho can play on the left too, and switch in for Marcus Rashford, if Greenwood continues to make himself undroppable, and the teenager can also play up front.
It is great to have options, and at the moment, Greenwood is standing tall as the only realistic one on the right if United want to kick on.
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