Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he cannot leave Mason Greenwood out of his team after the teenager scored for the third straight Premier League game.
The English forward, 18, took his tally to 16 for the campaign by netting in United’s 3-0 victory at Aston Villa.
Only George Best, Brian Kidd and Wayne Rooney – all with 17 – scored more as teenagers in one season for United.
Solskjaer said “it’s up to him [Greenwood] how far he wants to go”.
Academy product Greenwood has shown during his breakthrough season why he is rated so highly at the club, showcasing pace, skill and the ability to finish with either foot.
His goal against Villa was smashed in from 20 yards out with his right foot, as he became the fourth player aged 18 or under to score in three consecutive Premier League games, after Danny Cadamarteri, Michael Owen and Francis Jeffers.
Solskjaer said: “I am doing my bit to help him but he has to do it – turn in performances in training, in games, live his life properly. It’s up to him how far he wants to go.
“He’s 18 and of course he will get better. He is a natural footballer and has been in the academy since he was a little boy. His dad showed me a picture of us together when he was seven. He knows we believe in him. You cannot leave players out when they score goals.”
United goalkeeper David de Gea told BBC Radio 5 Live that Greenwood has “everything in his hands”, adding: “He is a great player, a top finisher. You don’t know if he is left or right-footed and it is great to see the kid scoring goals like today. We have to have some patience with him because he is young.”
Former United and Villa striker Dion Dublin said on Match of the Day: “Mason Greenwood is getting better, quicker.
“When you’ve got three or four rockets running away from you, [Villa defender] Tyrone Mings goes too deep. The strike… I thought he was left-footed – what a future he has got.” BBC