Mason Greenwood has all the attributes to emulate Robin van Persie’s exploits at Manchester United, according to defender Luke Shaw.
Greenwood has enjoyed an impressive breakout season at Old Trafford, scoring 12 times and laying on four assists despite 20 of his 36 outings in all competitions coming from the bench.
Writing in his weekly lockdown diary on United’s official website, Shaw marvelled at the 18-year-old’s potential and sees shades of Van Persie – the Netherlands great whose prolific debut season at Old Trafford in 2012-13 inspired Alex Ferguson’s farewell Premier League title triumph.
‘He’s had a fantastic first season in the first team. He’s clearly a natural goalscorer,’ Shaw said. ‘This season – even though he doesn’t start all the time – his goals return and his stats are great, and he’s got some assists too. For someone so young, in their first season, he’s done brilliantly.
‘He’s still got so much to learn, but if he carries on working hard and pushes himself every day then I don’t see why we can’t see him turn into another Robin van Persie or a player of that style that’ll score lots of goals for us.’
Greenwood’s most notable trait is his two-footed capabilities and Shaw knows what a considerable challenge this can present for defenders.
‘Purely the fact that he’s so two-footed, it’s unbelievable,’ the England international added.
‘When I was younger, when I played youth football, there was a young lad called Lewis Baker who played with Chelsea, he was always both-footed.
‘Him and Mason are probably the only two pure two-footed players I’ve seen. When I was at Southampton, Adam Lallana could also use his left and right very well.
‘Also Ravel Morrison was very strong on both feet and we’ve seen a lot of people talking about his potential in recent weeks, but I’d say Mason is stronger on that front.’
Greenwood joined the rest of his United teammates in returning to training on Wednesday for the first time since the coronavirus shutdown.
Players arrived at staggered times and will only train in small groups while observing strict social distancing guidelines.
The Premier League has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the English top flight eyeing June for a resumption.
The Bundesliga became the first European league to return to action this weekend, playing matches behind closed doors at their clubs’ home grounds.
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