Mason Greenwood is becoming the ultimate team player and that will delight Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his teammates.

Not only is the youngster capable of winning games single-handedly due to his immense talent, but he is becoming increasingly aware of his defensive duties and the need to work hard for his team.

The 19-year-old was replaced by Jadon Sancho in the 72nd minute of yesterday’s dramatic 2-1 win against West Ham.

And although Greenwood didn’t register a shot on goal, it was another impressive performance from the Golden Boy nominee.

Imposing himself on matches

West Ham United v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)

United started quite slow at the London Stadium and as usual didn’t click into gear before going behind.

But it was evident that Greenwood was the man trying to impose himself on the match and setting an example to his vastly more senior teammates.

Playing out on the right, Greenwood kept on drifting off the touchline coming into central midfield trying to get the ball off the likes of Raphael Varane, Scott McTominay and Fred.

It meant that United outnumbered West Ham in midfield and the Hammers didn’t know whether to follow Greenwood or let him drift.

West Ham United v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

With United in the ascendency after Cristiano Ronaldo brought the scores level, Greenwood darted inside and played a perfectly weighted through ball for Ronaldo.

 

The Portuguese’s shot was well saved by Lukasz Fabianski, but it highlighted the growing influence and awareness Greenwood is having in matches and developing that understanding with Ronaldo.

After being played through by McTominay, if Ronaldo had controlled the ball cleanly he would have seen Greenwood was free for a tap in if he squared the ball.

Alongside being a deadly finisher, Greenwood’s footballing intelligence and ability to sense opportunities to hurt teams is rapidly improving.

Mason Greenwood shows defensive desire

West Ham United v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images)

With United’s players slow to get out to Said Benrahma, it was Greenwood who tried flinging himself at the Algerian’s shot which took a wicked deflection off Varane and went past a wrong-footed David de Gea.

The England international was desperate to protect his team’s goal and that was highlighted by his willingness to throw his body in the way of the shot.

Against Newcastle last week when Allan Saint-Maximin broke from a United corner and played in Sean Longstaff, who eventually lost his feet in a promising situation, Greenwood showed great pace and desire to track back and ensured that Matt Ritchie or Joe Willock wouldn’t have had a clear goalscoring chance if either of them received the ball.

Greenwood’s development goes way beyond goalscoring, he’s contributing to all parts of United’s game and that’s what will probably be pleasing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the most.

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