Darren Fletcher’s Man Utd impact already being felt after Mason Greenwood U-turn
Mason Greenwood has enjoyed a remarkable rise through the ranks at Manchester United – and was finally handed the chance to shine in his preferred position on Saturday night.
Still only 19 years old, the Bradford-born striker already has 44 Premier League appearances under his belt and was deservedly handed his maiden England cap last year.
The teenager continues to impress for the Red Devils, but has often been deployed as a left-sided attacker by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
However the youngster was trusted by his manager to lead the line in the club's FA Cup clash against Watford, with Greenwood playing in a central role ahead of Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Daniel James.
And, it could well be that Darren Fletcher, who this week returned to the club's first-team set-up as a coach, played a leading role in Solskjaer's team slection.
The former United midfielder has been a vocal supporter of Greenwood and, earlier this season, was in doubt where the striker should be played at Old Trafford.
Fletcher told Sky Sports: “I think he’s a starter in United’s best team.
"Mason plays off the right-hand side, Anthony Martial in the middle and Marcus Rashford on the left, with Bruno [Fernandes] at no.10.
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"That’s the best attack and the one that put people on the edge of their seats after lockdown and produced United’s best form.
“I’m sure Mason’s evolution is to be a no.9. He’s got world-class potential.
"The fact he can go both ways – not many strikers can go naturally onto their left foot and naturally onto their right foot and finish it. He’s a defender’s nightmare.”
Despite the high praise, it was a disappointing night for the youngster as he endured a quiet night and was hauled off to be replaced by Anthony Martial in the 68th minute.
Fletcher will hope to influence Greenwood and help his continue his development, now he has returned to the Premier League giants.
The former Scotland captain came through the youth ranks at United before making over 300 first-team appearances and helping the club win a host of honours, including five Premier League titles, the FA Cup and Champions League.
He moved to West Brom in 2015, temporarily ending a 20-year association at United, and finished his playing career at Stoke but returned to Old Trafford last October to take up a coaching role with the under-16s at the club.
The 36-year-old will now step up to help with first-team duties on a full-time basis.
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