Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hails 'specialist goalscorer' Mason Greenwood after double
Victor Lindelof injured his back and could be a doubt for Thursday's game with Aston Villa, adds Solskjaer
Last Updated: 05/07/20 2:04pm
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed "special" Mason Greenwood as the teenager scored twice in Manchester United's 5-2 win over Bournemouth.
The 18-year-old Greenwood grabbed the first of his two goals with a powerful left-footed strike to make it 2-1 before showing his two-footed prowess by firing home the fourth with his right, taking his tally to 15 for the season across all competitions.
Asked if he had known a young player with such power and precision in front of goal, Solskjaer said: "No, I don't think I have.
- Manchester United 5-2 Bournemouth - Match report & highlights
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"I have seen Wayne Rooney at the same age and Mason is a specialist finisher and specialist goalscorer he knows exactly what to do with the ball when he's on the pitch.
"If he shoots he will score, he is going to get better and his general play has improved."
So how far can Greenwood go? Solskjaer was asked whether the youngster's career will have the same trajectory as former United players Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo but he was tight-lipped in his response: "I don't want to compare him to Rooney or Ronaldo as that's not fair and he'll create his own career.
"He's doing it his own way. Both of those have had fantastic careers and I'm sure if Mason keeps on doing the right things and making good decisions he'll have a fantastic career too.
"It's Mason's first season but we've always known there's a special kid there."
In an electric performance, full of attacking flair, United extended their unbeaten run to 16 matches across all competitions.
"It's exciting. It was great attacking football, with some fantastic goals," Solskjaer added.
"It's too bad our fans couldn't be here and spur us on because you can see the energy in the team, you can see the atmosphere within the team, but, if that crowd is here, that lifts you even more. That's a game for the fans, that's one the Stretford End would have enjoyed. It could have been six or seven or eight then, so, of course, it's a strange feeling playing in front of no one, but I think the team is doing exceptional.
"I think they're doing whatever they can to create that atmosphere themselves."
'He has an incredible technique and natural ability to find the net'
Analysis from Simon Mullock, Chief Football Writer, the Sunday Mirror:
"Greewood has 15 goals this season and for an 18-year-old, that is absolutely incredible. And what I like about him most of all is he actually did his first interview with United's in-house TV station and one of the questions was: 'What is your favoured foot?' And he is that good really that when you watch him, you do not know if he is left footed, or right footed.
"He is just a natural footballer and his finishing is just sensational. And what I really like about him is usually when young players come through like that, strikers tend to rely on their pace. And while he is quick, he just has an incredible technique and this natural ability to find the back of the net."
Lindelof 'felt his back'
Solskjaer named the same starting XI for the third Premier League game running, highlighting the current high level of consistency within their performance level. However, he may have to tweak his back four for Thursday's game with Aston Villa, live on Sky Sports, as Victor Lindelof was substituted with a back injury. Eric Bailly replaced him to make just his fourth Premier League appearance of the season.
"Victor felt his back," Solskjaer said.
"So there was no need to take any risks, but Eric's fine. He's got his game, 45 minutes, played against Norwich, played against West Brom [in a friendly at Old Trafford before the Premier League's resumption], so he'll be fine playing."