GARETH SOUTHGATE has been told that ‘special’ Mason Greenwood can turn a game around for him in a split second at the Euros.
Mason Greenwood showed his brilliant ability in the 3-1 victory over Aston VillaCredit: EPA
Greenwood, 19, has not figured in a Three Lions game since breaking Covid protocols following his debut in a 1-0 over Iceland back in September.
He and Manchester City’s Phil Foden were were kicked out of the squad after inviting two girls back to the team hotel.
But Greenwood has got his head down and with seven goals in his last 11 games — hitting form just at the right time ahead of this summer’s Euros.
And Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “I’m sure Gareth knows.
“He knows Mason well enough. He knows Mason can turn a game around in one split second.
“He’s working, learning on the job, getting more robust and he’s played more than 100 games for us and is our top goal scorer as a teenager, he’s been incredible.
“He’ll have a long, long future with England and I’m sure Gareth will think long and hard about which 26 he’s going to pick. I like him, I like the boy which says itself what I would do.
“His body is not really filled out yet and he might not be ready for all of these games but he’s got something special.
“He’s had to bear a lot of responsibility and he’s popped up with so many important goals for us.
Gareth Southgate was in attendance to watch Greenwood score against Aston VillaCredit: Paul Marriott Daily Mail/NMC Pool
Solskjaer is backing the young forward to star at the EurosCredit: Reuters
“The kid just turns the game around in one split second and the goal against Aston Villa was excellent so I’m delighted that he’s got back to his goalscoring best and he’s learning more and more, all the other bits as well.”
Greenwood’s goal made him United’s top teenage goalscorer in the club’s Premier League history edging past Wayne Rooney with 16.
He doesn’t turn 20 until October so wants to set a mark now that cannot be beaten.
Greenwood said: “Hopefully there are many more to come. I’ll try and keep scoring goals so no one else can come and break the record in the future! I’m happy scoring goals.”
Greenwood was part of yet another United comeback, the tenth time this season they have come back from conceding first to win.
He said: “We’ve got a little bit of a bad habit.
“It’s not so bad if we come and get the three points; it’s just a wake up call when they score.”
“We know we can come back second half and get the three points. We need to work on it and not give little goals away in the first half so we don’t have to come back from behind.”
The result means that if United win their next two games this midweek against Leicester on Tuesday and Liverpool on Thursday they will be just four points behind Manchester City.
But Solskjaer still fears the fixture schedule they have been given this week could prove too much.
He said: “I wish I could have said ‘let’s go full out in all the games’ but it’s impossible.
“That’s the hard bit for me knowing if I do play this XI on Tuesday and then again on Thursday it’s impossible, I run too much of a risk in injuring them.
“Talking about integrity in the league and stuff, don’t blame me when I have to make changes because I have to. It’s not safe for them to play all four so I have to prioritise.”
Leicester have wobbled of late in their bid to stay in the top four with three defeats and a draw in their last six.
But they drew 2-2 at home with them earlier this season and recently knocked them out at the quarter-final stage of the FA Cup with a 3-1 win..
Solskjaer said: “We’ve had two difficult games against them again this season.
“They’re a very good team. Some very good individuals and again they’re fighting for a top-four and they’ve got the FA Cup final to play for. I’ve said it many times about Brendan and his teams they’re a joy to watch and they play good football.”
Solskjaer says the team he fields tonight on a run of four games in eight days will be down to his medical department as much as himself.
He said: “We will sit down with the sports scientists. We can have a theoretical team now but we’ll have to see how they react when they come in and on Tuesday morning and then pick a team Tuesday afternoon.”
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