Forget about Haaland, Manchester United should be polishing its own gem
By Melissa Reddy
When the inevitable happened and Erling Haaland decided that its development was better served in the Bundesliga at this time than in United Manchester , there was no sense of fatalism surrounding Ole Gunnar Solksjaer's failed search for his former protégé.
And with Mason Greenwood Embarrassing markers and maximizing your opportunities as predicted by those of the club academy, why should there be? The 18-year-old, who has evolved from a visionary game maker to a compound clinical advance that can operate right or middle, has been considered the cream of United's talented young people. Despite being eligible for his under-16s in 2017-18, he closed the campaign as the supreme shooter for the U18, delivering 17 goals from 17 starts when they were crowned Premier league Northern Champions
When the U19 beat Real Madrid 1-0 to succeed during the ICGT competition organized in the Netherlands last May, Greenwood was the youngest member of the team and the Player of the Tournament. No matter how much United tries to control the hype around the teenager, he would dismantle the opposition's defenses with such efficiency and security that even the top would huddle around a smartphone to see the latest compilation videos of his exploits.
Left foot, right foot, free throws, penalties, precision or power ... whatever the game orders, Greenwood will serve it with ease. His natural abilities are terrifying, as Marcus Rashford put it, but all too often, such an extraordinary child at a youth level can still be stifled by the pressures and demands of professionals. football .
The maturity of the actions of the first team of Greenwood so far, with a return of eight goals and three assists in less than 1000 minutes in all competitions, has only improved its great turnover. It may resemble Robin van Persie at times and Solskjaer at others.
He knows what he wants to do, explained his manager. If you open your legs, he goes through you, he said. “If you close your legs, he shoots around you. You can go to your right or left. It doesn't matter who is in the goal or who is playing against.
Given all this, it was a shame that, when United was asked to explain why they lost to Haaland, who traded Red Bull Salzburg for Borussia Dortmund, they didn't point out their own young finishing machine. Instead, it was reported that the club disconnected the negotiations because the Norwegian's father, Alf-Inge, and the advisor Mino Raiola, insisted on a purchase clause in the contract and a portion of the possible future sales earnings.
Greenwood was born 437 days after Norway's international and there is a big difference between them. Haaland has had more professional experience, even in the Champions League, under a club with much less scrutiny. It will be essential and not an accessory in Dortmund, so they were your destination of choice.
United should have the best emerging talent in the market, but not if it drowns the trajectory of one of its own gems and not when they are more urgent issues to address as the midfield.