Mason Greenwood enhanced his growing reputation by swinging Manchester United’s match with AZ Alkmaar his side’s way last night.
United topped Europa League Group L by beating the Dutch side 4-0, a victory sealed by a sensational second half burst with Greenwood at the forefront.
Greenwood netted twice either side of winning the penalty Juan Mata converted, once again showing his class.
And the academy graduate has already passed a landmark that a far more expensive and experienced recruit failed to reach in the season and a half at Old Trafford.
Greenwood now has more United goals than Sanchez
Greenwood took his Reds tally to six goals before Christmas in his first full season around the senior squad.
Sanchez arrived to much fanfare, having been one of the best Premier League players of the decade but only reached five before being farmed to Inter on loan this summer.
There were signs that Sanchez had become surly and isolated at Arsenal, as well as suffering from burnout and his swoop was clearly opportunistic by United, lacking any clear plan of where he would fit into Jose Mourinho’s plans.
Even accounting for all that, it’s staggering to put into context just how poor his goal return was. A teenager with one Premier League start this season has already surpassed it.
Sure, Sanchez’s failings meant there was a low bar to surpass, but the speed and nature of Greenwood’s progression means the fact he has done so speaks volumes.
Contrast underlines Solskjaer’s ethos
Mourinho is the type of manager who would always take an established, expensive talent like Sanchez rather than wait for the likes of Greenwood to develop.
But Solskjaer has made it plain since he was appointed that he would rather use raw academy players who would run through walls for the club than rely on ageing talent which is not 100 per cent committed.
He’s already got more out of Greenwood this term than he managed to get from Sanchez, despite the discrepancy in experience and earnings between the pair.
Greenwood’s potential is massive, but Sanchez has already peaked and it on the way down.
That’s exciting, that’s the difference and it’s one of the best elements of Solskjaer’s tenure so far.
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