The 2019/2020 English League season would be remembered for a lot of things, particularly playing football in empty stadia due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Liverpool finally ending their 30 years wait to get their hands on the Premier League trophy, etc.
For many Manchester United fans, amongst other things, it would without a doubt be remembered as Mason Greenwood’s breakthrough season.
Since making his debut on March 6, 2019 in that memorable Champions League comeback victory at Le Parc des Princes against Paris Saint-Germain, the 18 year old has not looked back. He made his full debut in the EPL in a 2-0 defeat against Cardiff in the last game of the season. After an impressive showing, Olé Gunnar Solskjear rightly described him as “the bright light” on the day.
He made such a huge impression on the coaching staff that they had no qualms jettisoning seasoned pros like Romelu Lukaku – the team’s top scorer in previous campaigns, and former Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez, to make room for the two lethal feet Bradford-born player for the start of the 2019/2020 season.
The academy prodigy has rewarded the manager’s faith in him with stellar performances anytime he’s taken to the field, proving that his 41 goal involvement at junior level was no fluke. After scoring the winner against Astana in the Europa League, Owen Hargreaves waxed lyrical about the teenage sensation saying “he has a great feel for the game. Every time he’s touched the ball, there was purpose to it… He’s going to be a top player”.
At the break of the season – due to the threat posed by the corona virus – he has contributed 12 goals in all competitions, attracting rave reviews from fans and pundits alike and the comparison to former Man United and Arsenal legend Robin van Persie intensified even more.
Since the restart, Mason Greenwood has shone even brighter. The prolific teenager has been pivotal in helping United set a new premier league record of being the only club to win four consecutive league games by at least 3 goals (Man Utd 3 – 0 Sheff Utd/ Brighton 0 – 3 Man Utd/ Man Utd 5 – 2 Bournemouth/ Aston Villa 0 – 3 Man Utd).
The 3 month long break seem to have done Mason a world of good as he returned bulked up, fitter and better equipped for the rigors of the league. He has since ousted Daniel James from the starting line-up and chipped in with 4 excellent goals plus a couple of assists. His 9 goals in the premier league so far means he’s joint 3rd with Man United all-time highest goal scorer, Wayne Rooney on the illustrious list of players 18 years or younger to score the most goals in a single Premier League season, only behind Robbie Fowler (10) and Michael Owen (18).
Unsurprisingly, the plaudits has been plentiful. And there’s even talks to fast track him into the England set-up for the next Euros. It sure is true that the English media is notorious for hyping players and making stellar projections into the future a bit too early, however, it’s difficult to not be excited about the prospects of Mason Greenwood.
He’s obviously one of the best talents to come out of the Man United academy in recent times. He’s shown exactly why Solskjear attests that he “is one of the best, if not the best, finishers I have worked with or seen”. Mason has shown intelligence beyond his years, his movement, hold up play and the way he strikes a ball impeccably with both feet leaves one with the feeling that there’s real legit substance to all the hype. The 18 year old has the world at his feet and Man United fans can be forgiven for salivating in anticipation for what’s more to come from one of their own.