Mason Greenwood: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants forward to improve heading to become a 'No 9'

Solskjaer praises goalkeeper Dean Henderson on his United first-team debut in Manchester United's 3-0 League Cup win at Luton

Mason Greenwood celebrates his well-take goal in Man Utd's win at Luton
Image: Mason Greenwood came off the bench to score against Luton

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said Mason Greenwood must master the art of heading if he is to evolve into a 'No 9' at Manchester United.

Greenwood scored his first goal of the season as a substitute, along with fellow England international Marcus Rashford, in United's 3-0 win at Luton in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.

Former United forward Solskjaer is confident Greenwood will continue to develop his physical presence and improve his all-round game as the 18-year-old looks to move on from an off-field incident in Iceland which saw him sent home from international duty for breaching Covid guidelines.

"He had a fantastic season last season," Solskjaer told the club's website. "And to get his goal now was important for him. And Marcus. It always is with strikers, to get that confidence and feeling of scoring, to get that hunger again. So I'm very happy with that, he just needs to work to get his fitness and sharpness back.

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"He can play through the middle as well. I think, as a young boy, not physically grown yet, it is nice to be facing forward rather than being the No 9, the foil; being the battering ram if you like.

Mason Greenwood came off the bench to score against Luton
Image: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has earmarked heading as a facet of Greenwood's game that needs improving

"So I think he'll end up as a No 9 in the end, probably. But he's so good with his right and left [foot], so he can come in off his right and left, or through the middle. I scored most of my goals from just outside the post as well, I wasn't like in the middle.

"For him to be a No 9, though, he needs to learn how to head the ball. I keep telling him that and, if he wants to do that, he's welcome to come and practice with me."

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Solskjaer was also asked post-match about Jesse Lingard, who has been linked with Tottenham, but chose to highlight the winger's performance at Kenilworth Road rather than comment on transfer speculation surrounding the 27-year-old.

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Highlights of the Carabao Cup third-round tie between Luton Town and Manchester United
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer described Manchester United's 3-0 win against Luton as a 'good workout', but would not be drawn on the club's transfer activity

"I thought he was bright," Solskjaer told Sky Sports. "He's getting closer to a goal. He's got legs and was bright and busy today."

The victory against Championship club Luton marked Dean Henderson's first-team debut for United and Solskjaer praised the goalkeeper's performance, including a smart stop from Tom Lockyer's header to deny Luton a late equaliser.

"You could see it happening, you could see it being set up for the big lad at the back stick and he made a save, Dean," the Norwegian said.

"I'm very pleased with his performance both when he had to make the save and also how he voiced the team. And when he's got the ball at his feet he's always comfortable."

United face Brighton on Saturday at the Amex Stadium, where they will target their first Premier League victory of the season after losing at home to Crystal Palace in their opening game at the weekend.

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