Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing Southampton striker Danny Ings ahead of the upcoming transfer window.
What’s the story?
The Red Devils have secured second place in the Premier League table this season, but there’s still work to be done to catch Manchester City, and it appears as though the Old Trafford outfit will be active in the market this summer.
Bad news for Greenwood
United have recorded consecutive top-four finishes for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, showing clear signs of progress under their Norwegian manager. However, the significant gap to bitter rivals Manchester City at the top of the table indicates that there’s still progress to be made before United can mount a serious title charge.
Although the England international has proven himself to be a prolific top-flight goalscorer, bagging 34 Premier League strikes over the last two seasons, including 12 this time around, his proposed arrival could harm Mason Greenwood’s development.
While Sancho would free up the 19-year-old forward to play in his natural position through the middle, Ings would offer direct competition and take away regular opportunities for Greenwood to lead the line over the next few seasons.
In Cavani, Greenwood has the perfect tutor. The supremely talented and highly experienced Uruguay marksman can offer the ideal balance between nurturing the teenage prodigy on the training ground and allowing him enough time on the pitch to develop; at 34, the former Paris Saint-Germain ace can no longer play every week.
The United academy graduate is clearly a favourite of Solskjaer’s, featuring in 51 games in all competitions this term and being a regular in the starting XI, and has won the trust of the Red Devils boss through his impressive displays and incredible work ethic.
“He’s doing the right things on the training ground, so I’m very, very happy with him,” said Solskjaer when talking about Greenwood earlier in the season, and he’s not the only one enthralled by the youngster’s ability.
“The goal from Greenwood, that’s a striker’s instinct, this kid is a striker. What I was pleased about with Greenwood was his all-round game. His movement and the way he retained possession was great,” marvelled Rio Ferdinand after he scored against Brighton at the start of April.
“He’s making unbelievable runs. He needs to keep making those runs because his team-mates will find him eventually.”
If Greenwood carries on developing at the rate at which he’s currently progressing, then United could have their next homegrown superstar on their hands. However, the potential arrival of Ings could stunt his growth and that’s not a risk worth taking.