Some at Manchester United are concerned that forward Mason Greenwood’s lifestyle choices are negatively impacting his development as a footballer.
The 19-year-old, who was a core part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side last season, has started just four games in all competitions this year and has been dropped from the squad altogether for three, and his issues have cost him a spot in Gareth Southgate’s latest England squads.
According to The Athletic‘s Laurie Whitwell, Southgate’s decision to omit Greenwood came after a phone call with Solskjaer, who made it clear that the teenager would be better off staying at Carrington to try and re-focus.
While Solskjaer publicly claimed that Greenwood’s absence from Saturday’s 3-1 win over Everton was down to illness, club officials are said to have been concerned by a lethargic performance in training on Friday which left them believing he could not be included.
It has brought the spotlight on to Greenwood’s life away from Carrington, with some holding concerns over a potential lack of sleep and the impact that is having on the 19-year-old’s physical fitness.
There are even some frustrations towards his recent attitude which stem from the revelation that he broke COVID-19 guidelines to sneak girls back to the England hotel with Phil Foden back in September. According to the report, Greenwood’s response to the incident has left a lot to be desired.
United have not lost faith in Greenwood and instead see this as a case of a young player who simply needs to mature – as is the case for every young player on the planet. Coaches have worked closely with the forward to remind him of the sacrifices needed to make it to the very top, but the belief is that Greenwood is yet to show any real response.
The hope is that 33-year-old Edinson Cavani can act as a mentor of some sort and United have asked the Uruguay international to speak with his team-mate to try and offer some more player-oriented advice.
In Greenwood’s absence, it was Juan Mata who was given the nod against Everton, but it was Bruno Fernandes who stole the show yet again.
The Portugal international finished with two goals and chimed in with a late assist for Cavani, temporarily easing the pressure on Solskjaer.