This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking on BT Sport, Owen Hargreaves has tipped Mason Greenwood to finish as the Premier League’s top scorer one season.
The 17-year-old etched himself into Manchester United folklore by scoring his first competitive goal for the senior side in the Europa League clash against FC Astana on Thursday night.
After seeing Greenwood’s goal-scoring display, former Red Devils star Hargreaves delivered a stunning prediction as to what the teenager could hope to achieve in his career.
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He said (as quoted by The Daily Mirror): “Stay fit, stay healthy, and the sky is the absolute limit for him. He can be anything he wants, top scorer in the Premier League one day. I’m excited to see he’s able to decide a Europa League game at 17. For a young player to have that composure in the box, he’s going to be a top player.”
Greenwood may be the name on everybody’s lips right now, but there is a striking similarity to the kind of start his teammate also enjoyed. Marcus Rashford also burst onto the scene on the European stage too, before having a break-through campaign under Louis van Gaal.
Since then however, the 21-year-old has seen his form called into question, and there is still a lingering debate about what his best position is. Greenwood’s own versatility – he can play off the right, the left, as a second striker and an out-and-out centre-forward – could prove to be to his detriment too.
It will therefore be up to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to ensure the precocious teenager is managed carefully, both in terms of his playing time and tempering the understandable expectation and hype. If the United boss can do that, then the Red Devils academy product could eventually leapfrog the man whose path he is following.