Man Utd: Fans protest against Glazers outside Old Trafford
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Mason Greenwood has proven Ole Gunnar Solskjaer right over his position after seeing Manchester United get held in a goalless draw at Leeds. In a match largely devoid of clear-cut chances, Greenwood was selected as the Red Devils’ main striker for the trip to Elland Road.
Before now, the 19-year-old has mainly been played on the wing by boss Solskjaer, despite his preferred position being through the middle.
In fact, this season alone he has made 19 more appearances out wide than up top, though he has been successful in that position, scoring eight goals.
Solskjaer has also revealed he believes that Greenwood is not yet ready to play through the middle and still has to make developments in his game.
“Maybe in the future he can play as a central striker, but I still think that’s a few years away,” said Solskjaer earlier this month.
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“At the moment, Mason is more suited to playing that wide role, dropping into pockets, finding space and running in behind. We have found a good way to develop him, but he might end up as a No 9.”
Greenwood though does not agree with his manager’s assessment of his future position, insisting he can play through the middle.
“Long-term I want to be in that No.9 role but if I play on the right or in that No.9 role wherever the manager picks me or tells me to play I’ll go out there and do my best,” he told Stadium Astro.
With Edinson Cavani set to depart Old Trafford at the end of this season, United are set to target a striker in the summer transfer window.
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But against Leeds, Greenwood was given the chance to show that he could be an internal replacement for Cavani.
Unfortunately for the young Englishman, he failed to make that case in what surprisingly was a game of limited opportunities.
Greenwood had just one shot in the entire first-half as he found life difficult against Leeds centre-backs Diego Llorente and Pascal Struijk.
Those struggles continued after the break, with Greenwood again finding it hard to win chances on goal before moving out to the right after Edinson Cavani replaced Marcus Rashford with five minutes to go.
It’s a trend that has become apparent whenever Greenwood is played through the middle of the United front three.
In 13 starts as the main striker this season, he has scored just one goal, which came in a 5-0 thrashing of RB Leipzig.
It appears then that Solskjaer is right and Greenwood’s immediate future at United lies out wide, rather than at striker.
The Leeds draw also serves to prove to the United hierarchy that a striker will be need to be bought this summer, be that Erling Haaland or Andre Silva.
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