Football News

Solskajer teases first-team role for Man Utd’s two-footed teenage Giggs

By James Richards

Published: 21:51, 20 July 2019

Manchester United’s young forward Mason Greenwood has been compared to Ryan Giggs by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The 17-year-old came off the bench to score the winner in United’s International Champions Cup game against Inter to continue his impressive pre-season.

Can Greenwood really emulate Giggs? Five key things to know…

  • Mason Greenwood made his debut in the Premier League as a 17-year-old
  • Ryan Giggs was also 17 when he played his first top-flight game in 1991
  • Giggs would go on to make more than 950 appearances for United scoring 168 goals
  • Mason Greenwood has impressed in pre-season so far
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has compared Greenwood to Giggs

The 20-time English champions have been surrounded by news stories regarding the future of star striker Romelu Lukaku this summer but Greenwood is now making headlines of his own.

He has scored in back-to-back games in pre-season including the winner against Inter in Kallang, Singapore, in the International Champions Cup.

The two-footed forward cut inside and produced a tidy finish to settle a poor game in United’s favour.

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Following another impressive display, Solsjkaer admitted the youngster’s emergence is similar to that of Ryan Giggs over two decades ago.

“Mason has never been on my mind to send out on loan,’ said Solskjaer. “He’s one we have to keep at our place. It’s good for him and at the moment he’s fine. He reminds me a little bit of the Giggsy story – you can’t send him on loan and he’s ready to be in this squad.

‘The kid’s only 17 and he’s learning every day training with these boys. He’s been with us the last few months, he’s grown in confidence and he’s grown in stature. I said before when you’ve got players who perform it’s difficult to keep them out. But we’ve got to keep our feet on the ground with him, he’s only 17. There will be ups and downs but he’s enjoying his football.”

Manchester United face Chelsea on the opening day of the campaign and the United boss has not ruled out Greenwood starting the game.

Lukaku future still undecided

United rejected a £54m bid from Inter for Romelu Lukaku last week but the forward is yet to play in United’s pre-season tour.

The Belgian striker is suffering from an ankle injury but his manager has concerns over the amount of training he has missed.

“If you’re a player and don’t manage to train for a week – he’s missed three games now – it’s a concern,’ added the United boss. ‘He’s working to get back on the pitch and let’s see how long it takes.

“I think we have done really well without Romelu but we know he’s one of the top strikers in the world. We’ve played a different way. As a coach you adapt to the players available. We’re looking forward to the next game against Tottenham (in Shanghai) and let’s see who’s available.”

When asked if the Lukaku transfer saga and United’s failure to seal the Harry Maguire deal with Leicester were hampering his pre-season plans, Solskjaer replied: “Of course, you want to have your team settled as early as possible.

“As I said, whoever’s available we will work with them to get them performing and training. Let’s see on August 8 who’s here and who’s not.”