Mason Greenwood shows Manchester United the way forward
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Manchester United's season couldn't have ended in a more fitting way. Dropping points to two relegated teams sums up this current squad that has been assembled at Old Trafford. During the humbling 2-0 defeat at home to Cardiff City, there was just one bright spark on the field - and it came in the form of a player making his full debut.
Mason Greenwood was the player providing energy and enthusiasm. The teenager looked to be the only one trying to make things happen. Whether that says more about him or the rest of the squad remains to be seen, but I'm more of a glass-half-full kinda' guy. For one so young, he plays with a maturity beyond his years.
Aged 17, Greenwood has played 45 games this term, scoring 47 goals while tacking on 13 assists. At any level that's just incredible. Winning the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award and making his full United debut in the same week must have been a dream come true.
If the Red Devils are truly trying to return to their old selves, Greenwood will now be a regular fixture within the United first-team. Again, we're talking about someone who has made just one start for this club yet he's the one providing the inspiration. That's absolutely damning.
It got me thinking, why have United moved away from the norm? Under Sir Alex Ferguson, this club always believed in youth, they always looked to promote from within rather than splashing the cash. That mentality changed as soon as the great Scot left the building. It's time to revert back to type and it all starts with Greenwood.
No player has taken more shots in a Premier Leauge game (7) than Greenwood against Cardiff City. Yes, he may not have scored, in part thanks to a stunning Neil Etheridge save, but that youthful fearlessness was evident right from the first whistle. He was the one leading from the front. He was the one trying to spur his teammates on. He was the (only) one, who, quite frankly, looked like he cared about the result. It shouldn't be his job, instead, the likes of Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford should be the ones inspiring him, not the other way around.
Call me old-fashioned, call me whatever you want, but as long as you put in the required effort then I'll go home happy. Losing is something that I can take, it's the manner in which United have suffered so many defeats what irks me. Greenwood was exemplary in that regard and although it may take him time to fully develop into the level of player that United need, I'd rather see him out on the pitch instead of those guys that don't want to work.
This isn't me calling for a team to be built around Greenwood, nor is this an effort at me digging out senior members of the squad. It's just blatantly obvious that Greenwood wants to be here and help this club return to former glories. As the old saying from the iconic Sir Matt Busby goes: 'if you're good enough, you're old enough', and I don't think I'm in the minority when I say that I want to see this young man on a regular basis next season.