EPL

Greenwood must 'learn how to head the ball' to become number nine, says Solskjaer

By Sports Desk September 23, 2020

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer accepts Mason Greenwood is likely to become Manchester United's number nine in the future, but says the teenager must learn how to head the ball first.

Greenwood, who superbly broke into the United first team last season, opened his goalscoring account for the new season with a late strike as a substitute in Tuesday's 3-0 away win over Luton Town in the EFL Cup.

The England international formed a potent front three with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford towards the end of last season and there have been calls for the 18-year-old to be given a chance down the middle, rather than playing in a wide role.

United boss Solskjaer does see that happening in the years ahead, but feels there are some adjustments for Greenwood still to make before he takes the central role currently held by Martial.

"He had a fantastic season last season and to get his goal now was important to him," Solskjaer said to the club's website. 

"Marcus too. 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 [Greenwood] just needs to work to get his fitness and sharpness back."

When asked about Greenwood's position, Solskjaer added: "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 number nine, the foil; being the battering ram if you like.

"So I think he will end up as a number nine 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 number nine, 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."

United are back in action away to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday in the Premier League on Saturday as they look to bounce back from their opening defeat to Crystal Palace.

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