OVERVIEW OF: Mason Greenwood Scores Like The Legendary Van Nistelrooy – Ferdinand
Mason Greenwood is “going to be a beast”, according to Rio Ferdinand, who says the Manchester United teenager has Ruud van Nistelrooy’s “precision” in front of goal.
Greenwood has been a revelation for United since bursting onto the senior stage in 2019-20.
The 19-year-old scored 17 goals to help Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side earn a third-place Premier League finish and make it through to three semi-finals, forming one-third of a fearsome attacking triumvirate alongside Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.
Fitness issues have hampered the England international in the early stages of the new season, but he returned to the Red Devils’ squad for a Champions League clash with Istanbul Basaksehir on Tuesday after recovering from a bout of illness.
Greenwood impressed after coming on as a second-half substitute at Old Trafford, providing the assist for Daniel James to round off a comfortable 4-1 victory, and he will be in contention for his fourth Premier League start of the season when United take in a trip to Southampton on Sunday.
Ferdinand sees similarities between the young forward and Van Nistelrooy, who scored 150 goals in 219 games for the Red Devils between 2001 and 2006, and thinks he is destined for stardom because of his natural instincts in the final third.
The United legend told BT Sport of Greenwood’s potential after his latest European display: “He looked very sharp. The passing forward in the No.10 spot, Van de Beek coming in there, and it just again showed his difference. Daniel James looked impressive when he came on too.
“He’s going to be a beast to go with the technique he’s got, the understanding, his spatial awareness, he plays off both feet.
“I want to go and watch training. That’s what he gets out of me. I want to go and watch his technique, him lashing balls into the back of the net.
“We talk about Ruud van Nistelrooy, it excites you when you see finishers that finish aggressively, but with precision. He has that in abundance.”
Ferdinand’s former United team-mate Paul Scholes, meanwhile, believes Greenwood is already the most deadly player in the box on United’s books.
“He physically looks stronger now than the last time we saw him. He’s a big, strong and powerful lad, and he’s only going to get stronger as well,” said the Old Trafford great.
“I think out of the three or four forwards they have, he’ll be the best finisher as well.”