The Red Devils’ teenage star, Mason Greenwood continues to impress, but if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are to kick on then adding a right-winger this summer is key
With teams now finding their feet following the lockdown period, the Premier League is beginning to resemble its previous self, at least in terms of providing entertainment on the pitch.
The key battle between now and the end of the season now looks to involve those sides chasing Champions League places, with Leicester City, Chelsea and Manchester United all recording vital wins over the weekend.
Wolves were the big losers after they slipped to defeat against an improving Arsenal side while elsewhere Southampton recorded a memorable victory over Manchester City.
Man Utd still need Sancho signing despite Greenwood form
Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, and Marcus Rashford have scored more goals across all competitions this season (55) than Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah (52).
And after a weekend when Manchester United’s front three made headlines in their 5-2 destruction of Bournemouth, that statistic has understandably been used to suggest Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now has a forward line ready to challenge for the title.
Greenwood adds a different dimension to United’s right-hand side, cutting infield and operating with the sharp edges of a traditional centre-forward in staying close to Martial.
That makes him more potent than Daniel James, who can become isolated on that side by hugging the touchline, or Juan Mata, who by dropping deeper is often disconnected from the United number nine.
Let us not get carried away just yet though. Greenwood, after all, is only 18.
He currently has eight league goals from an expected goals total (xG) of just 2.4, and while that is testament to his superb finishing, it is also an unsustainable figure not unlike Rashford’s in his first couple of months as a senior United player or Tammy Abraham’s at the beginning of the 2019-20 season.
Greenwood is a real talent, but he is still very young, and as such we should anticipate his form dipping at some point.
Greenwood would be better off being allowed to develop with less pressure on his shoulders as a back-up option on the right. If United are to win major honours next year, they still need Jadon Sancho on that side of the pitch.
Greenwood’s time will come. For now, he deserves space to grow outside the glare of the first 11.