Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backs Mason Greenwood to rediscover last season’s form

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has "no doubts" that Mason Greenwood will soon be firing again, © PA Archive/PA Images
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By Simon Peach, PA Chief Football Writer

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has “no doubts” that Mason Greenwood will soon be back to his best as the talented teenager edges towards a return from illness.

Long touted as a future Old Trafford star, the 19-year-old academy graduate scored 17 goals in all competitions during a stunning breakthrough season.

No teenager has scored more in a campaign for United, equalling the tally managed by greats George Best, Brian Kidd and Wayne Rooney with performances that saw Greenwood fast-tracked into the England set-up.

But the 19-year-old, who joined Phil Foden in being sent home shortly after September’s senior debuts in Iceland for breaching the bio bubble, has yet to reach last season’s levels, netting twice across eight appearances.

Mason Greenwood has played eight times for Manchester United this season, scoring twice (Shaun Botterill/PA)

“You have to take a step back sometimes,” manager Solskjaer, who knows a thing or two about scoring for United, said. “The boy’s only 19 and he’s had a fantastic year.

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“If we go a year back, I left him out of the Carabao Cup against Chelsea. Mason stayed back and played against Doncaster in the Checkatrade (Trophy) to get game time and that’s how far he’s come.

“Now he’s got 19 goals for the first team, he’s made his England debut, he scored on his first Under-21s game. He’s had a fantastic development.

“Of course the headlines are going to be there about him when he scores, (or) if he doesn’t play.

“Everyone’s allowed to not be well and if you’re not well, you can’t train.

“He’s now stayed away, he’s been away eight or nine days from training. We’re just starting building him up again.

“I have no doubts about him. He’s got a very good head on him and his talent is there for everyone to see.”

Saturday evening’s return to Premier League action against West Brom may well come too soon for Greenwood, with Solskjaer saying “he’ll be back soon”.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer led United to a much-needed win at Everton before the international break (Paul Ellis/PA)

The United boss has had a variety of injury headaches to contend with recently but the Norwegian is positive about his options as they look to secure a first home league win of the campaign.

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“The short version is Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard and Phil Jones are the only ones who didn’t join in parts of the training today,” Solskjaer said.

“Then there are different stages. Some of them had recovery after internationals on Wednesday and travels. Some are just working back after illness and fitness and we’ll make a decision tonight.

“But most of them have joined in today and then some joined in yesterday, so it’s looking good.”

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