Mason Greenwood's two big moments this season teach a key lesson
Mason Greenwood gave a perfect illustration of his quality on Saturday night.
Greenwood scored a fantastic goal in the second half against West Ham to put United 2-1 up.
Once again his strike had shades of Robin van Persie about it. He received the ball with his back to goal, and two touches later it was nestling in the back of the net.
In truth Greenwood was a little fortunate to still be on the pitch at that point. He had been underwhelming in the first half and he was one of several players who could have been hooked at the interval.
The real difference came when Anthony Martial was substituted and Greenwood moved into a more central role.
Greenwood at his best through the middle
Greenwood enjoyed some success last season out on the right wing. It always felt like merely a temporary solution.
The teenager has spent most of his game time this season playing out on the right.
While Greenwood can provide positive returns from this position, it has not clicked for him this season. He is often too isolated, and put simply; he is a striker and not a winger.
This was Greenwood’s first league goal of the season and it was overdue, and his third in all competitions.
His other big moment came in United’s 5-0 victory over RB Leipzig in which he netted the game’s opener.
In this game he started through the middle, and was played in on goal by an impressive pass from Paul Pogba.
These two big moments illustrate where Greenwood is at his best, when he is playing through the middle.
He has the ability to score from out wide as he showed last season, but if United really want to get the best out of the 19-year-old, then he needs to be given more central opportunities.
That is not straightforward with a player like Edinson Cavani in the squad, while Anthony Martial will surely pick up form sooner or later.
Greenwood just has to keep on seizing the opportunities he gets, including one which may come against Leipzig with Cavani and Martial out. He has to make it impossible for Solskjaer to (a) leave him out and (b) pick him centrally.
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