Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole has warned the club about Mason Greenwood’s development if they sign right winger this season.
Cole, a treble winner in 1999, is concerned that a big summer signing could block Greenwood’s progress.
Greenwood was a revelation last season after an early season panic when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sold Romelu Lukaku and loaned out Alexis Sanchez to Inter Milan. To their credit, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial stood up to the plate too.
The 18-year-old scored 17 goals in all competitions for the first team and it will be difficult to keep him out of the team next term.
Speaking to the PA news agency via Sky Sports, Cole said: “Mason is scary, absolutely scary.
“If this kid lives up to his potential, United have one on their hands.
“It’s scary and long may it continue. He needs to keep doing what he’s doing, scoring goals and putting pressure on those up front, and as he matures and learns the game even more United have a player who could be anything.
“He can play as a nine and he can play out wide of a three, so it will be interesting to see where United think his best position is and what they see him as.
“For me, the best number nine in the world is Robert Lewandowski. But there aren’t many, if any, Lewandowskis about. And if they do bring in Sancho then you’ve got to be careful as you don’t want to block his [Greenwood’s] progress.
“United do need to bring in players as you must improve every season but it’s a fine balance. If you have a player like Mason Greenwood then you can’t afford to block their progress.”
There are elements of Cole’s argument I agree with such as being wary of Greenwood’s development when buying mega money players in the transfer market, but I don’t think he will be playing on the right wing in 3-4 years time.
He’s young and is still learning his trade as a goalscorer. Eventually I can see him move more centrally, but United can’t stop and wait either. They must move on and improve the team to have any chance at winning trophies.
Greenwood is that good I wouldn’t be worried about him losing his place in the team. At 18, it’s important he gets game time and Solskjaer knows what a talent he has on his hands.