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Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opens up on Mason Greenwood’s lack of chances

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…

As quoted by The Daily Mirror, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has opened up on why he has refrained from using Mason Greenwood more regularly for Manchester United this season.

What did he say?

The 18-year-old has played just 112 minutes of Premier League football this season, but whenever he has been called upon for the senior team, he has stepped up to the occasion.

On Thursday night, Greenwood opened the scoring for the Red Devils in their 3-0 triumph over Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League, and speaking after the game, Solskjaer provided an insight into how he has managed his starlet.

He said: “Mason is going to have a very big career, but sometimes it’s not the right time to play him. He knows why he hasn’t played as much. He needs to learn the man’s game. He’s gone up from the under-18s last year, now he’s training with the first-team every day and you can’t just turn that switch on and off.

“We’re taking our time with him. It’s been a difficult period. Anthony Martial has been away, and to put all the weight on his shoulder wasn’t right, either. I think we’re finding the right balance between playing him, resting him and training him. You’ve got to perform every day if you are going to be accepted by a group like this.”

If Greenwood had played particularly poorly whenever he has been given the opportunity for the first-team, then Solskjaer’s post-match comments would feel a little more understandable. But the 18-year-old has arguably delivered time and time again when entrusted with an opportunity.

He scored in both of his full starts against FC Astana and Rochdale respectively earlier in the season, and then when he came on against Bournemouth last weekend in the Premier League, was the man who struck the post when the Red Devils were trailing. Hardly someone who has gone missing, or has struggled to adapt to senior football. After all, he was one of the big talking points during pre-season when he netted against Leeds and Inter too.

Watch the video below to see the most insane overhead kick you will see this week…

And with Martial being out of action for the best part of two months before his comeback, how Solskjaer didn’t simply place his faith in Greenwood is bizarre. Rather than trying to suggest he still isn’t ready for first-team action, perhaps the United boss should look himself in the mirror over his questionable treatment of the starlet.