Greenwood vs Rooney: As Solskjaer compares duo, how does ‘specialist finisher’ compare to legend in breakout season?


OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER likened his “specialist finisher” Mason Greenwood to Wayne Rooney after his double against Bournemouth.

Teenager Greenwood smashed two powerful strikes past Aaron Ramsdale as the Red Devils came from behind to win 5-2 at Old Trafford.

And all the talk afterwards was about one young man, as Greenwood scored his seventh and eighth Premier League goals – taking his tally to 15 in all competitions for his breakthrough season.

His manager reckons he has never seen a teenager with such emphatic striking in front of goal before, suggesting Greenwood reminds him of Manchester United legend Rooney who broke through with Everton in 2002/03.

Solskjaer – who has already tipped the youngster to surpass his own Red Devils total – said: “No, I don’t think I have.

“I have seen Wayne Rooney at the same age and Mason is a specialist finisher and specialist goalscorer he knows exactly what to do with the ball when he’s on the pitch.

“If he shoots he will score, he is going to get better and his general play has improved.

“I don’t want to compare him to Rooney or Ronaldo as that’s not fair and he’ll create his own career.

“He’s doing it his own way. Both of those have had fantastic careers and I’m sure if Mason keeps on doing the right things and making good decisions he’ll have a fantastic career too.

“It’s Mason’s first season but we’ve always known there’s a special kid there.”

Greenwood did make three Premier League appearances last season but the 2019/20 campaign has certainly been the year he has made a name for himself, excelling in both the Premier League and Europa League.

Alongside Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, the trio have scored more goals across all competitions than Liverpool’s front three of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

And as he demonstrated with devastating effect on Saturday, Greenwood is able to rifle strikes past the goalkeeper with both feet thanks to his lethal eye for goal.

The academy graduate, still only 18, has already surpassed Rooney’s goalscoring record from his 2002/03 campaign with Everton.

That year, Rooney managed six goals in 33 league appearances whereas Greenwood is up to eight in 26, although is three behind Rooney’s tally of four assists.

Overall, though, Rooney was involved in 0.30 goals per game and had a minutes-per-goal record of 264 whereas Greenwood just shades it with 0.35 goals per game and a brilliant 115 minutes per goal.

After two years with Everton, Rooney earned his big-money move to Manchester United and went on to become the club’s – and his country’s – record goalscorer.

If Greenwood carries on at the rate he has been so far, he could well go close or even outdo Roo’s achievements.


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