Charlie McNeill equals Mason Greenwood’s academy scoring record after brilliant brace

by Colm Murphy

With another brace today against Leeds, Charlie McNeill joins the esteemed company of Mason Greenwood as only the second player to score 20 league goals for Manchester United since the start of academy football in 1998.

McNeill’s poacher’s finish in the 54th minute marked his 20th league goal of the season and showed off his predatory instinct as he reacted quicker than everyone to slot home the loose ball from Will Fish’s knock down.

It was only three minutes later when he doubled his tally for the day with a powered low driven shot from a tight angle after a delightful ball over the top from Dillon Hoogewerf. McNeill’s attacking prowess was at the heart of United’s comeback to clinch the 3 points with a 4-2 win away to Leeds.

Joining Greenwood in the record books has naturally led to McNeill being dubbed by supporters as Greenwood 2.0.

Although while the scoring records are similar, the styles of play are different. McNeill comes alive in the box and pounces on any half chance. Greenwood prefers to drift wide and deep to pick up the ball and run at defenders, drawing from his early academy days as a winger and number 10.

However, despite being more of a poacher, McNeill has shown improvements in his all-round game in recent weeks, notching six assists in his last six league matches, a stark contrast to his previous 14 matches where he didn’t register any.

McNeill exemplified this growing versatility against Leeds by drifting wide and setting up Hoogewerf with three well-placed crosses. One of them provided the assist for the equalizing goal.

Not stopping at under-18 level, Greenwood’s 27 goals for the first team at only 19 years old will have supporters hoping McNeill’s exploits continue to match his fellow record holder into the first team. And with Ole’s trust in youth, it is only a question of when he’ll get that chance and not if.

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