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Mason Greenwood’s cool head and knack for shooting early make him a rare talent 

It has yielded the Spurs and England captain plenty of goals for club and country and the same is likely to happen for Greenwood who, still only 18, now has 13 goals to his name in his first full season in United’s first team.

Just watch Mat Ryan at that precise moment Greenwood elects to shoot. He is in the process of making one of those little jumps, those tiny adjustments, that Seaman talked about in conversation with Wright and cannot recover in time, with Greenwood letting rip that split second quicker than others might have done, and with tremendous force.

In truth, it is not just the timing of Greenwood’s shot that makes life difficult for the Brighton goalkeeper. Greenwood also manages to direct his shot between the legs of Lewis Dunk, slightly clouding Ryan’s view in the process. And that is another skill many strikers seek to perfect, and one Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – Greenwood’s manager at United and someone who knows plenty about the art of goalscoring – has worked with the youngster on. Pulling off one trick goalkeepers hate is one thing but two? That is quite something.

There are other weapons as well. Greenwood has that ability to get the ball tight to the posts, beyond the reach of a goalkeeper even at full stretch – his visualisation of the goal is excellent – and, for defenders, there is the nightmare of being unable to push him towards a weaker foot. Greenwood is completely comfortable, and supremely confident, using either – “51 per cent left footed, 49 per cent right” according to Solskjaer – and it gives him a balance that, coupled with a quick mind and feet, makes him very hard to read.

He is not someone who gets too high or too low, either. Michael Owen once said: “If you’re a goalscorer, you have to have a certain attitude. I’m very serious. I’m cold. I don’t have many emotions.” Greenwood is not like that but he is single-minded and ruthless on the pitch and not prone to great shows of emotion off it: a cool, calm head.


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