Mason Greenwood is expected to start for Manchester United this evening against AZ Alkmaar and he has the chance to make a statement.
This is an opportunity for Greenwood to finish as United’s outright top scorer in the Europa League group stages.
He has two goals to his name so far, with both strikes coming in home matches against Astana and Partizan Belgrade.
This tally has been matched by Anthony Martial who netted in both games against Partizan, one from the penalty spot. Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard also have one goal each.
Martial is likely to be rested after just coming through an ankle injury to play in the derby, while Rashford needs to be saved for Everton at the weekend too.
Tonight’s game against AZ provides Greenwood with a chance to step ahead of Martial and make a case to continue getting picked when the competition’s knockout rounds begin.
All strikers whether 18 or 35 years old ultimately get judged on goals. Greenwood’s talent is undeniable, the only question is whether he is ready to be a consistent starter. Ole Gunnar Solsajer has used him sparingly this season, despite it being a huge leap forward for him.
Greenwood has four goals in total this season and two in the Europa League, but his last two starts against Astana and Tottenham have drawn blanks.
Scoring tonight against AZ won’t be easy, they have conceded only eight league goals this season in 16 games and held United to a clean sheet last time.
That is why tonight is an excellent test for Greenwood and if he can rise to the challenge then he will show Ole Gunnar Solskjaer he deserves an even more prominent role.
United have a cup quarter-final coming up next week ahead of a very busy Premier League schedule. It would be great for Greenwood to get back on the scoresheet ahead of these games.
The teenager has had a really good season so far and another goal at Old Trafford will further highlight his outstanding potential.
Finishing the group stages as outright top scorer would be a pretty good statement to make as he closes out a successful 2019.
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