Greenwood’s tar­get

I’ve got Eng­land scor­ing records in my sights

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By Matt Law FOOT­BALL NEWS CORRESPOND­ENT

Ma­son Greenwood did not flinch when asked dur­ing his first in­ter­view as an Eng­land player whether he was aim­ing to be­come a record­breaker for club and coun­try.

The 18-year-old had al­ready been probed on Alan Shearer’s be­lief that he could break his Premier League goalscor­ing record be­fore he was put on the spot over whether he was tar­get­ing Wayne Rooney’s records for Manch­ester United and Eng­land.

Rooney scored 253 goals for United and an­other 53 for Eng­land. Greenwood has 17 for United and is still wait­ing to make his Eng­land de­but, hav­ing been called into the se­nior squad for the first time for the Na­tions League games against Ice­land and Den­mark.

But the for­ward has al­ready set him­self some big tar­gets, one of which is to win the Premier League ti­tle in just his sec­ond full sea­son as a se­nior United player, which he be­lieves is pos­si­ble.

“Any young foot­ball player would want to break records and if you didn’t, there’s some­thing wrong,” Greenwood said. “It’s al­ways nice to have vi­sions and goals you set in your foot­ball ca­reer and that goes for vir­tu­ally any Eng­land for­ward – go out there and do your best and break records, and just be re­mem­bered for ever, re­ally.”

In his im­pres­sive break­through cam­paign, Greenwood joined Rooney, Brian Kidd and Ge­orge Best as just the fourth teenager to score at least 17 goals in a sea­son for United.

He also be­came the first teenager to score 10 or more Premier League goals in 22 years, prompt­ing Shearer to claim he could break his top-flight record of 260.

“He’s been a le­gend, he’s done it all,” Greenwood said. “He’s been good for Eng­land as well, so for some­one like that to say that about me is nice to hear.”

Rooney has claimed Greenwood is al­ready the best fin­isher at United and is ready to be­come Harry Kane’s main deputy for Eng­land.

“Ob­vi­ously, it’s nice to hear those things, but it’s all about stay­ing fo­cused and prov­ing your point on the pitch,” Greenwood said. “But to hear things like that from Wayne and a big United le­gend, it’s amaz­ing. I’ve been watch­ing him as a kid, so for him to be talk­ing like that puts a smile on my face.”

Greenwood’s goals helped United to clinch third place and Cham­pi­ons League qual­i­fi­ca­tion last sea­son, but the young­ster in­sisted he and his team-mates would be aim­ing higher this term.

“We hope to push those clubs [Manch­ester City and Liver­pool] this sea­son, not just to fin­ish in the Cham­pi­ons League places, but to push for the league,” Greenwood said. “It’s been a long time com­ing, but I feel we are start­ing to get there and we are start­ing to be ready to push for the places at the top of the ta­ble.”

De­spite his lofty am­bi­tions, Greenwood in­sists his United up­bring­ing makes it easy for him to re­main level-headed.

“It’s pretty easy,” he said. “The play­ers at United get taught just to ig­nore it [the hype], just carry on do­ing what you’re do­ing.

“Ev­ery­one will be sup­port­ing you when you’re do­ing good, but maybe when you’re do­ing bad not many peo­ple will be sup­port­ing you, so it’s all about stay­ing calm and just for­get­ting about it, be­cause it’s what’s on the pitch that’s more im­por­tant.”

Greenwood is al­ready team­mates with some of his United role models and hopes to play with an­other one of the play­ers he has looked up to for Eng­land.

“Mar­cus [Rash­ford] has been one of the big­gest in­flu­ences on my ca­reer, be­cause he’s come through the same path­way,” Greenwood said. “He’s helped me a lot, he’s been in my po­si­tion and knows how it feels.

“There is a clear path­way at United as you can see with Mar­cus, Scott [McTom­i­nay], Jesse [Lin­gard] and Paul [Pogba] all com­ing through those ranks. You’ve just got to take your chances and go for it. Hope­fully, I will have an ex­cit­ing ca­reer for Man United and Eng­land.”

Asked who he was most look­ing for­ward to play­ing with for Eng­land, Greenwood added: “Harry Kane. When I was in the youth team I was watch­ing him in the Premier League and ob­vi­ously he’s a good fin­isher. It would be nice to play with him and he’s been a role model for me, so it would be good to be a team-mate.”

One of the fea­tures of Greenwood’s in­cred­i­ble break­through has been his abil­ity to play with both feet, with Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer, the United man­ager, de­scrib­ing him as “51-49 left-footed”.

Greenwood set­tled the de­bate on which was his best foot by say­ing: “I use any foot when it comes to it, but I pre­fer to use my left foot than my right.

“When I was younger, I put in a lot of prac­tice on both feet and it’s stayed with me nat­u­rally now. I’m glad I did it at such a young age be­cause it ben­e­fits my game.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.