Mason Greenwood has earned his maiden England call-up after a hugely impressive campaign with Manchester United.
The 18-year-old only made his debut last season but took the Premier League by storm in his first full campaign for the senior team, scoring 10 of his 18 goals last term in the top-flight.
Here, the PA news agency takes a closer look at United’s next potential superstar.
What makes Greenwood so good?
One of his best attributes is he is two-footed – to the point where it is difficult to tell which side is actually his strongest. That, combined with his pace, must be a nightmare for defenders. Greenwood has unerring instinct and composure in front of goal and his positioning and runs are excellent. He returned from lockdown noticeably bigger and growing into his frame has made him stronger on the ball.
So where does he rank historically compared to other young players?
Only three players have scored more Premier League goals than Greenwood at his age. Michael Owen, who features on the list twice, is well out in front with 18. In December, Greenwood, at 18 years and 72 days, became the youngest United player to score twice in Europe as Solskjaer’s side beat AZ Alkmaar 4-0 in the Europa League.
What was his form like after the restart?
Greenwood played a key role in United’s strong finish to the season as they claimed a Champions League berth. He scored five times in the run-in, including a run of four goals in three games in June and July. He earned rave reviews from pundits analysing his performance but the highest praise came from his manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who said Greenwood is “one of the best – if not the best – finisher I have worked with and seen.” Asked if he had known a young player with such power and precision, Solskjaer replied: “No, I don’t think I have.”
What lies ahead for the young striker?
Eyebrows were raised when Solskjaer sanctioned the departures of Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku in the summer of 2019 and, rather than bringing in a big-money replacement, put his faith in Greenwood. But that decision appears to be vindicated, with Greenwood having already scored more goals than Sanchez did during his time at Old Trafford. The full value may not be seen just yet but Greenwood is returning his manager’s faith in him and if he continues to work hard and take his opportunities the sky is the limit for him.