Football News

Man Utd boss Solskjaer open to starting Greenwood in Premier League opener against Chelsea

By Ben Green

Published: 15:05, 18 July 2019

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted at a possible start for academy graduate Mason Greenwood in the club’s Premier League opener against Chelsea.

The Red Devils will lock horns with Chelsea at Old Trafford on August 11 after receiving an unfavourable opening fixture for 2019/20.

Could Greenwood start? Five things to know…

  • Greenwood has been tipped to break into the Man Utd first team in the coming seasons.
  • The 17-year-old featured four times last term, all under Solskjaer.
  • He made three PL appearances and came on in the dying embers for Man Utd’s famous win over PSG.
  • Solskjaer has branded the teenage sensation a “natural footballer” after he netted his first senior goal.
  • Greenwood scored the opener in Man Utd’s 4-0 pre-season win over Leeds and has now been backed to start again Chelsea.

Starting out wide in a 4-2-3-1 against Leeds United at the Optus Stadium, the teenage talent broke the deadlock in Man Utd’s second pre-season match of the summer: a 4-0 drubbing of Marcelo Bielsa’s side.

With Romelu Lukaku seemingly heading for the exit door, Solskjaer may be forced to turn his attention to one or two academy products, but he believes Greenwood possesses all the requisite attributes to flourish at the top level.

Asked if Greenwood could be in contention to start in the Chelsea opener, Solskjaer said: “He has got a chance to start that one, definitely.

“He is more than capable and will always be there in and around the box creating chances. I won’t say that it is not a possibility, there’s a good possibility if he keeps going as he is. It’s difficult to keep players out that perform well.”

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“Everything is there for him”

Solskjaer went on to add that by opening his account for the club a weight has been lifted from his shoulders, and he has now urged the teenager to seize the opportunity in front of him.

He added: “We were delighted with the goal he scores, it’s important for strikers to get that goal.

“We’ve said and know he is capable of scoring goals, but that first one maybe takes a weight off his shoulders. His movement, cleverness – the young boy is going to be a very good player.

“He can play in all of the front four positions, he’s a natural footballer. He’s good coming in on his left foot but he can play anywhere along the front line.

“He’s a talented boy and has every opportunity to make it as a Manchester United player. If he stays clear of injuries and stays professional, I’m sure he is going to take his chance because everything is there for him.”