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Sir Alex Ferguson was right, the whole world will soon know Man United star Mason Greenwood’s name

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It was at a League Managers’ Association lunch three or four years ago that Sir Alex Ferguson first mentioned Mason Greenwood’s name to those at his table. ‘I think we have found one,’ said Ferguson.

The way Greenwood’s career trajectory has gone over the last 12 months, it will not be long before the whole world knows his name.

Marcus Rashford’s introduction at United in 2016 was notable. He scored twice on his debut in the Europa League. But Rashford’s progress, at least the speed of it, from that point surprised people a little. The pre-season before he arrived in the first team, he wasn’t even taken on the club’s pre-season tour by manager Louis van Gaal.

Mason Greenwood shone for Manchester United as they easily beat Brighton 3-0 on Tuesday

Mason Greenwood shone for Manchester United as they easily beat Brighton 3-0 on Tuesday

Mason Greenwood shone for Manchester United as they easily beat Brighton 3-0 on Tuesday

The United youngster scored the opening goal of the night against Brighton in Premier League

The United youngster scored the opening goal of the night against Brighton in Premier League

The United youngster scored the opening goal of the night against Brighton in Premier League

Greenwood is different. His star has been burning so brightly just below first-team level for so long that the rate at which he has shot to prominence over the last year or so has shocked absolutely nobody.

It is early in the 18-year-old’s career to make rash predictions. Things can get in the way. But it is a while since we have seen such a natural looking young English goal scorer. No wonder England manager Gareth Southgate is interested already.

In scoring his team’s first goal at the Amex on Tuesday night, we saw most of what we need to know about Greenwood. Already much of what he does is recognisable. He has habits and they tend to be good ones.

A lot of his 13 goals – six in the Premier League – this season have looked a little like this one. A direct run, a shot taken early. So many of this teenager’s shots are struck along the ground. So many creep in by the foot of a post by just a couple of inches. It cannot be coincidence.

It has been a while since we have seen such a natural looking young English goal scorer

It has been a while since we have seen such a natural looking young English goal scorer

It has been a while since we have seen such a natural looking young English goal scorer

Confidence means so much to a forward – Rashford seems short at the moment, for example – and Greenwood seems to have been born with it. Already at Old Trafford they say he reminds them of Robin van Persie in terms of the way he backs up defenders with straight direct running towards goal. If that sounds like a burden for a young player, it doesn’t seem to show. He has a habit of shooting through defenders legs, too, and his manager used to be quite good at that.

For Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Greenwood’s progress is fundamental to his team’s improving fortunes. The way the attacking midfielder Bruno Fernandes has impacted on United’s play has been much discussed but currently Solskjaer’s line-up has a front three that carries a threat too.

It will be some while before Anthony Martial can be trusted fully. The Frenchman came in to this game off a hat-trick and has talent. But he is inconsistent and goes missing when the team is struggling. When Solskjaer warned before the game that his forwards should take nothing for granted, it may be Martial who has most to lose in the long run.

Rashford, meanwhile, must improve his goal return. He is still only 22 and does not currently look match fit after a period of injury. Nevertheless, improvement will still need to come if he is to be a regular United player for the peak years of his career.

Marcus Rashford must improve his goal return with Greenwood breathing down his neck

Marcus Rashford must improve his goal return with Greenwood breathing down his neck

Marcus Rashford must improve his goal return with Greenwood breathing down his neck

It will not be long before the whole of the football world knows the 18-year-old's name

It will not be long before the whole of the football world knows the 18-year-old's name

It will not be long before the whole of the football world knows the 18-year-old’s name

He is part of a confident United side at the moment and that will help. Many more games against opposition as compliant as Brighton and that won’t change.

Brighton are the only team at the bottom of the table to have resumed their season with any kind of positivity, having beaten Arsenal at home and drawn at Leicester.

But Graham Potter’s team were awful here. Having argued so strongly against the proposed use of neutral venues during the lockdown, Brighton did not look like the home team. Passive and lacking energy from the first minute, the only signs of improvement they showed came in the early minutes of the second half.

That momentum was soon halted by a third United goal and Greenwood was involved in that, too. His lofted cross to Fernandes at the back post was superbly played.

It seems Ferguson was right all those years ago. He usually was.

Sir Alex Ferguson was right when he hyped up Greenwood three or four years ago

Sir Alex Ferguson was right when he hyped up Greenwood three or four years ago

Sir Alex Ferguson was right when he hyped up Greenwood three or four years ago

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Solskjaer reveals how kind-hearted Bruno Fernandes shook EVERY Man Utd staff member hand when he sealed transfer

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OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER knew he had signed the perfect player in Bruno Fernandes when he shook the hands of every member of staff after joining the club.

The Portuguese international has transformed the Red Devils since completing his £47million switch from Sporting Lisbon in January.

Solskjaer is hugely impressed with Fernandes' character off the pitch

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Solskjaer is hugely impressed with Fernandes’ character off the pitchCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Fernandes, who has yet to taste defeat for United, has bagged an impressive seven goals and six assists to catapult his side into Champions League contention.



And while he has been a star on the pitch, Solskjaer revealed how his true character shone through after he put pen-to-paper on his contract.

The Norwegian told the High Performance Podcast: “It was off the field as well as in training.

“He demands off me. He demands off his team-mates. The first day he was in the club, he shook everyone’s hand.

“He didn’t come in here thinking, ‘I’m the big shot.’ No, he shook absolutely every staff members’ hand.

“And, of course, this is a family – Man United – we’ve always been a family, and Sir Alex (Ferguson), the way he’s created this atmosphere in this dressing room, in this training ground, I think it’s unique.”

He didn’t come in here thinking, ‘I’m the big shot.’

Solskjaer on Fernandes

Talking about his performances, Solskjaer continued: “He’s got the talent of course, you can see the quality is there.

“And we’ve seen that for a long time, but then again, he steps up when it matters.

“He’s delivered crosses, he’s delivered assists, he’s scored goals, he takes penalties.

“He’s done everything in a short space of time that you’d expect.”

Solskjaer revealed the processes that the club goes through to ensure they have signed a player who can contribute both on and off the field.

And one of those ways is to monitor social media accounts to cast an eye over their lifestyles.

He added: “Harry Maguire, for example, you follow him, you’ve watched his Instagram account, you watch Twitter, you watch what kind of personalities they are.

“You go back to the scout that scouted him when it was 15, 16.

“Of course they’d spoken to them, and we just know more or less everything we need to know about the personality.

“You can’t do that all the time. Sometimes you have to take the hunch.

“You watch him and you say, well, rainy day at Stoke, he steps up, he’s a winner.

“Or he picked up the ball and gave it to the player, or he’s respectful when off the pitch he shakes everyone’s hand or… those little things.

“You’re looking at human qualities as well.”

Bruno Fernandes has been a star on and off the field

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Bruno Fernandes has been a star on and off the fieldCredit: AFP

Fernandes’ journey from Sporting to Manchester is similar to that of Cristiano Ronaldo’s so it will be no surprise that Solskjaer received the recommendation from the Juventus forward himself.

Solskjaer said: “So obviously Cristiano was an easy goal for me that I managed to get through.

“Through Patrice Evra, I managed to get hold of Cristiano and his recommendation obviously stood him (Fernandes) in good stead.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Man United ‘could have scored 3,4,5 more’ vs Aston Villa but heaps praise on goalscorer Mason Greenwood

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6.30pm Chelsea transfer news LIVE: Jovic ‘to partner Werner’, Henderson shock offer, Kante ‘can leave’, Havertz LATEST

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CHELSEA will have to be at their best for their final three matches after discovering only the top four will make next season’s Champions League.

It had been the case that fifth would have been enough, but Man City have won their appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport meaning only the top four will now qualify.

Follow all the latest transfer gossip and updates below….

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Bayern Munich ‘eyeing shock move for out-of-favour Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele’

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Bayern Munich are preparing to make moves for French midfielders Tanguy Ndombele and Tiemoue Bakayoko, according to reports in France.

Thiago Alcantara and Javi Martinez are reportedly readying themselves for a departure from the Allianz Arena this summer, with the former strongly linked with a move to Liverpool

Fellow central midfielder Corentin Tolisso – who has been linked with Arsenal and Manchester United in the last few months – is also expected to leave the Bundesliga champions and boss Hansi Flick is therefore seeking reinforcements in that area. 

Bayern Munich are preparing a bid for Tottenham's out-of-favour midfielder Tanguy Ndombele

Bayern Munich are preparing a bid for Tottenham's out-of-favour midfielder Tanguy Ndombele

Bayern Munich are preparing a bid for Tottenham’s out-of-favour midfielder Tanguy Ndombele

The Bundesliga champions are also keeping an eye on Chelsea flop Tiemoue Bakayoko

The Bundesliga champions are also keeping an eye on Chelsea flop Tiemoue Bakayoko

The Bundesliga champions are also keeping an eye on Chelsea flop Tiemoue Bakayoko

According to Le10Sport, that search has led the Bavarians to exploring the possibility of bringing midfielders Ndombele and Bakayoko – currently owned by Tottenham and Chelsea – to fill the gaps.

Bakayoko re-joined former club Monaco last summer on a season-long loan after failing to impress Blues boss Frank Lampard in pre-season, and has not played for the Stamford Bridge side since their 2018 FA Cup final victory against Manchester United.

The one-cap French international – who is also said to be interesting Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan – spent last season on loan at the Serie A side.

An option to buy of £38million was agreed with Monaco last season as part of the loan deal, but even despite the coronavirus pandemic, Chelsea are still believed to be hoping to secure around £31.5m for his signature.

Bayern expect to see Spanish midfielder Thiago depart the Allianz Arena this summer

Bayern expect to see Spanish midfielder Thiago depart the Allianz Arena this summer

Bayern expect to see Spanish midfielder Thiago depart the Allianz Arena this summer

Fellow Spaniard Javi Martinez is also another player Bayern expect to move on in the summer

Fellow Spaniard Javi Martinez is also another player Bayern expect to move on in the summer

Fellow Spaniard Javi Martinez is also another player Bayern expect to move on in the summer

The report adds that a deal for Spurs’ record signing Ndombele may be more difficult to strike.

The 23-year-old joined Tottenham for £53m from Lyon last summer but has fallen out of favour under Jose Mourinho.

However, given the club’s financial difficulties following the coronavirus outbreak, Spurs would hope to recoup much of the £65m fee shelled out for him last summer.

Bayern would be unlikely to match this figure, but the German giants may reportedly look to a compromising loan deal which they agreed in order to secure previous deals for James Rodriguez and Philippe Coutinho.

Frenchman Corentin Tolisso has been linked with Manchester United and Arsenal recently

Frenchman Corentin Tolisso has been linked with Manchester United and Arsenal recently

Frenchman Corentin Tolisso has been linked with Manchester United and Arsenal recently

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