Replacing Mason Greenwood: Manchester United's options in starting XI

Manchester United have released a statement on Mason Greenwood.

BBC Sport and The MEN both report United’s statement reads: “Mason Greenwood will not return to training or play matches until further notice.”

This does leave a gap on the pitch, and focusing on football, let’s take a look at what this means for Manchester United.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Greenwood’s form this season

Greenwood has scored six goals this season but his form has been erratic. Three of these goals came in his first three matches in August.

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He then scored one goal in October, one in December and one in January against Brentford. He has struggled to forge a partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo.

United’s options on the right wing

Greenwood has played predominantly for United on the right wing this season. Ralf Rangnick has settled on a 4-3-3 formation, not too dissimilar from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s 4-2-3-1.

Jadon Sancho can expect to be United’s regular starter on the right wing in Greenwood’s absence.

The big money summer signing has had an inconsistent start to his time at the club and a settled role and position can make a difference.

United could play Marcus Rashford on the right, or Anthony Elanga, or even Paul Pogba, despite it not being their preferred position – although with Anthony Martial gone, there is one less option on the left.

United have refused to send Jesse Lingard out on loan and could use him in the position.

Amad has been sent out on loan to Rangers. There is little likelihood of him being recalled after just a few days despite his goal on his debut – even though he would be a good option.

Then there are a few unsatisfactory options, like utilising Juan Mata out on the right wing like he has been several times before.

Diogo Dalot could also be pushed up there if Aaron Wan-Bissaka can improve and win back his place at right-back.

Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

United’s options up front

Greenwood has also played up front as a striker although he was regarded as third choice, with one spot available in the 4-3-3 formation.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the first choice, Edinson Cavani second. Marcus Rashford would now be third, and Anthony Elanga fourth, with Anthony Martial now loaned out.

With Ronaldo and Cavani both missing games due to injuries in recent weeks, United are slightly light at the position. A long shot in case of further injuries is Charlie McNeill stepping up from the under-23s towards the end of the season.

Striker is likely to be a position United address in the summer, with Cavani’s contract at the club set to expire.

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