Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has urged attacking starlet Mason Greenwood to focus on his heading ability to become the perfect, all-round number nine.
The 18-year-old came on as a late substitute in the Red Devils’ 3-0 victory over Luton Town on Tuesday night, scoring the final goal of the game inside a beautiful cut from the right.
— Mason Greenwood (@masongreenwood) September 22, 2020
Solskjaer praised Greenwood’s ability to play out wide or centrally following their Carabao Cup promotion, but the Norwegian believes the youngster’s future lies at number nine rather than as a winger.
However, he is not the perfect article in the eyes of his boss. Speaking after the game, Solskjaer explained that the forward must ‘learn how to head the ball’, urging him to ‘come and practice’ his technique with the ‘baby-faced killer’.
“Goals were always important to him and Marcus (Rashford) as a striker. To get that confidence and feel of scoring. Mason can also play through the middle and wide. At times, to be a number nine and a battering ram. It’s nice to be wide forward instead. I think he’ll come in at number nine.
Greenwood celebrates last season’s strike in the Europa League/Pool/Getty Images.
But for him to become a number nine, he needs to learn how to head the ball. I keep saying it. If he wants to do that, he is welcome to come and practice with me.
Greenwood burst onto the scene for the Red Devils last season, initially making his mark in the Europa League, before becoming a regular in the line-up on the resumption of football. The England international scored 10 goals in the Premier League and five in Europe, helping Man Utd secure a Champions League qualification spot, and reach the semi-finals of the Europa League.
The youngster is learning his trade under one of the most clinical forwards in top-flight history in Solskjaer, who was known for his ruthless nature in front of goal with every part of his body. There are then opportunities for Greenwood to hone his skills and become the definitive number nine at Old Trafford.