Manchester United are taking extra precautions to protect youngster Mason Greenwood ahead of what promises to be a breakthrough 2019-20 campaign for the 17-year-old, according to a report in the Telegraph.
Greenwood claimed a remarkable 30 goals in 29 appearances at youth level last season and made his senior debut during the club’s historic 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain in March.
The youngster has served as a powerful beacon of light during the club’s pre-season tour, bringing an excellent tempo to his performances and claiming two goals – including a wonderful strike to decide a game against Inter Milan. Sources at United have said that Greenwood, who can use both feet with equal ability, is the most natural finisher produced by the club in many years.
As revealed in an exclusive by James Ducker, United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer therefore view Greenwood as somewhat special, and have accordingly taken precautions to safeguard the youngster from the piercing light of the media and the concomitant impact it can have on one’s sense of calm within.
For instance, Greenwood is off-limits for MUTV, the club’s in-house media channel. Whenever interviews with players are being done, the teenager is whisked out of the room. He is not prominent on social media either.
Senior players like Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Scott McTominay, who went on the same trajectory as the one Greenwood is currently experiencing, have made efforts to ensure he feels at home with small gestures such as ensuring he is aware of the dress code or schedule for a particular working day.
Rashford, in particular, has taken care to not clutter Greenwood’s head with endless advice – precisely the right thing to do for a shy but supremely talented teenager making their way into first-team football. That approach, you suspect, was what helped form Rashford into the internationally acclaimed star that he is today.
So, Mason, if you’re reading this – stop! What are you doing?! Put the bloody phone down. Log off Twitter. Delete Instagram. Don’t listen to me. Don’t even listen to proper journalists – especially proper journalists, actually. Just go out there and smash it. Under Solskjaer and Mike Phelan, you are in great hands.