Mason Greenwood put in another promising yet unproductive performance as Manchester United drew with Chelsea.
The Manchester United teenager will be left wondering what he needs to do to add to his tally of four goals and four assists for the season, which has remained the same since his last contribution to the scoresheet in the FA Cup win over Liverpool.
United hoped that goal against Liverpool would spark a run of good form. And it has done, but the goals haven’t been there to follow up.
So how can Greenwood improve and raise his game? He should look no further than United’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney.
Greenwood needs to replicate the aggression in Rooney’s game he showed as a young player and utilise it in his own performances.
There were flashes against Chelsea. As early as the sixth minute he shoulder-charged a Chelsea player jostling him for possession, winning the battle, before cutting inside and switching the play.
In the second half Greenwood used his strength effectively before driving forward, playing a one-two, before shooting narrowly high and wide.
Greenwood tried his best to create chances for himself. Without good service, it was tough. But there were encouraging signs.
Prime Rooney the blueprint
Watching early videos of Wayne Rooney is a great place for Greenwood to start the next step of his development.
Rooney was a powerhouse of a striker even as a teenager, and he did not let anybody get in his way, even with his own share of off-field drama.
Greenwood has been adding strength to his physique over the last year, which should give him confidence to apply the same attitude to his performances.
Already in his young career, Greenwood has shown he has the talent. 17 goals in his breakthrough season was an astounding return.
Greenwood is finding this season that he is being given less space, and he has been less clinical in front of goal. These are both parts of his game he can work on; there are ways to create more space for himself via off ball movement, sharp touches and his own strength.
Most of all he needs his swagger back. Greenwood has had a challenging season, under attack from the press at times, and he has appeared mentally fatigued. A lack of rest last summer cannot have helped.
Young Rooney played with a combination confidence and an insatiable work rate. Greenwood has been working hard to adapt the defensive side of his game, but there is always another level he can go to with his off ball work.
Finishing this season strongly would be huge for Greenwood to lead into next year.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has kept faith in him and will continue to do so. Now Greenwood needs to take the next step.
The teenager has the potential to become an all-time great at United. He should be looking at Rooney for inspiration on how to do so.
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