Gareth Southgate praises Man United’s Mason Greenwood ahead of debut

Gareth Southgate praises Man United’s Mason Greenwood ahead of debut

Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood could make his debut for England in this evening’s Nations League match against Iceland.

Gareth Southgate is expected to start with a front three of Harry Kane, Jadon Sancho and Raheem Sterling, but there is every chance that the England boss will give Mason some minutes from the bench, especially with Marcus Rashford absent from the squad due to an ankle injury.

Greenwood’s richly deserved call-up follows some phenomenal form since lockdown and Southgate was understandably purring about the 18-year-old in an interview with The Times’ Henry Winter last night.

‘I have to say it is really rare to see a player as comfortable with both feet, and not just in terms of the ability to receive and pass but finishing with both feet, there are not many I have seen.

‘I felt slightly embarrassed, you pick a player for England and you’re not sure which foot he kicks the ball with.

‘With him there is genuinely that the quality of finishing, and — the way that he has got this icy, cold stare, very calm — disposition generally, which I think is clear when he is in and around the penalty box as well.

‘For somebody of his age that is remarkable maturity.’

England skipper Harry Kane is also impressed with the 18-year-old.

‘Mason’s been great, I’ve been able to train with him for the last three or four days,’ Kane said.

‘He has been really sharp and ready and has got that natural goalscorer’s instinct of being in the right place at the right time.

‘Looking at the start Mason has made, he has got all that down to a T right now.’

Another United player hoping to make his debut is goalkeeper Dean Henderson, although it is more likely that he will have to wait his turn, with Burnley’s Nick Pope expected by most pundits to be the one handed the gloves.

Iceland vs. England kicks of at 5pm UK time.

Manchester United’s new star Donny van de Beek will be the 13th Dutch national to play for the senior side. But how much do you know about the other 12? Take our quiz below to find out.

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Red Billy is co-editor of The Peoples Person, author of three books and totally obsessed with football's transfer market. Always glad to get feedback - write to redbilly (at thepeoplesperson.com) or click the email link to send a message.