Manchester United’s deal for Jadon Sancho means the Red Devils now have one of the best attacks on the planet. And the arrival of the 21-year-old is set to impact Mason Greenwood, too. Express Sport will now take a look at three new roles the England international is set to be given next term.
Role No 1: On the left wing
United star Marcus Rashford confirmed on Friday that he’d be having shoulder surgery after battling with injury problems over the past 12 months.
The club put out a statement that said: “Following consultation between Marcus, the manager, club medical staff and specialists, Marcus will undergo surgery imminently to resolve his shoulder injury.
“He will now focus on his rehabilitation in order to return as soon as possible.”
Rashford himself said: “When I was 11 years old MU helped me and my family out of a really difficult situation. I will always feel indebted.
“When the clubs need me, I’ll be there. Any role I can play in helping my boyhood club I’m going to do it. Even to my detriment at times.
“Having been out of the game recovering from the double stress fracture, and having spent a lot of time away from teammates and staff who’d been a part of my life for as long as I could remember, I needed to feel a part of something again.
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“I needed to feel like I was playing my part. I’ve read some call me selfish for holding off getting the surgery this season but it was never about putting myself first and that’s how we’ve reached this point, and something as a 23-year-old I’ve had to learn the hard way.
Regarding Greenwood, he’s been deployed on the right wing throughout the majority of his career.
But he could now be set to switch sides in the wake of the news about Rashford.
Daniel James, Anthony Martial and Amad are also capable of playing on the left flank – but all three have blown hot and cold throughout their respective spells at Old Trafford so far.
And with Solskjaer a huge admirer of Greenwood, it’s possible the Red Devils will now decide to give him a new role.
Role No 2: Backup to Sancho
While Greenwood has spent the majority of his time at United playing regularly on the right wing, he may now be forced to play second fiddle to Sancho instead.
After all, the Dortmund star will rock up in his favoured position – effectively pushing Greenwood out of the team.
Amad and James were brought in to make the position their own but it’s Sancho, instead, who will get the nod every week.
And with Greenwood a spectacular talent, he may now be forced to settle for rotation.
Sancho isn’t the only player that might happen with, either…
Role No 3: Backup to Edinson Cavani
With United now well-stocked for right wingers, it’s certainly feasible Greenwood will get to play down the middle more.
The England star flourished playing in the No 9 role at academy level, while Solskjaer has regularly dubbed him one of the best finishers at the club.
And with Martial inconsistent, Greenwood may be given a new lease of life.
If he proves he’s got what it takes to lead the line, then it’s possible United will opt against signing Erling Haaland in a year.
Greenwood must, however, prove he’s capable of matching the Borussia Dortmund striker’s exploits.
Manchester United: The first five fixtures of the 2021/2022 campaign
August 14 – Leeds United – Old Trafford
August 22 – Southampton – St Mary’s Stadium
August 29 – Wolves – Molineux
September 11 – Newcastle United – Old Trafford
September 18 – West Ham United – London Stadium.