At Manchester United, the sight of a fresh faced young talent bursting onto the scene is nothing new. It’s what this great club was built on, dating back to the Busby Babes and the infamous class of 92.
Giving youth a chance is what Sir Matt Busby envisaged, back in the 1950’s scouting young talent from all over the United Kingdom and Ireland, with United committed to developing their own players at a time when buying and selling older more established players was the norm for most.
This is also the approach Sir Alex Ferguson took, upon being appointed Manager in 1986. He and Archie Knox put a lot of emphasis on ensuring United recruited the best young talent, from around the country. Bringing in the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and David Beckham.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has followed in these footsteps, giving youngsters such as Brandon Williams and Mason Greenwood an opportunity in the first team. Something which is already beginning to reap rewards.
Throughout his short time as a top-flight striker, Greenwood has impressed fans and pundits alike. With what already appears to be a ‘trademark’ goal, a low drilled left-footed effort, it has led to comparisons with Robin van Persie.
His talent seems so self-evident, that no comparison seems too far-fetched. Dimitar Berbatov, a predecessor at United, drew a parallel with Cristiano Ronaldo. Others have suggested he has an echo of the Brazilian Ronaldo about him. Gary Lineker, the former English striker, called Greenwood one of the most natural finishers he has ever seen.
Returning from lockdown noticeably bigger and growing into his frame, he’s now stronger on the ball. To the point whereby United now have a front three on par with Europe’s elite sides.
Only three players have scored more Premier League goals than Greenwood at his age. Michael Owen, who features on the list twice, is well out in front with 18 but Greenwood could realistically move up to second place this season with three more goals.
Cast your minds back to last summer, Manchester United and Romelu Lukaku parted ways, allowing one of the Premier League’s best strikers to leave, without bringing in a recognised goalscoring replacement, many thought that this was a recipe for disaster.
Manchester United now have another young prodigy on their hands, a front three who are all capable of creating and scoring goals. Taking the same approach as Busby and Ferguson, can only lead to one thing and that’s success.
For too long, we have had Managers and players who didn’t know what it meant to manage or play for this club. It’s about attacking play, taking risks and giving youth a chance.
With this squad and the young talent coming through, we are slowly beginning to look like a proper Manchester United side. Mason Greenwood is symbolic of this, now let’s hope he can get on the scoresheet against West Ham to allow us move closer to Champions League qualification.