Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed Mason Greenwood and dismissed reports questioning his behavior.
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The Manchester United boss left Greenwood, 19, out for their wins at Newcastle United and Paris Saint-Germain in the past week.
Solskjaer said that was due to a small injury, but reports have surfaced that Greenwood has been warned about his behavior off the pitch after several incidents off the pitch as he was dropped from the England squad, plus reportedly poor timekeeping.
Speaking ahead of Manchester United – Chelsea on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30pm ET, NBC and online via NBCSports.com), Solskjaer was asked about Mason Greenwood making himself an easy target for criticism.
“Well, you do when you play well and I’m not concerned at all of Mason making a target of himself because he’s come in and played fantastic,” Solskjaer said. “He made a mistake this summer with England and suddenly the whole English press go after him – and that’s something we have to look after.
“He is a fantastic boy to work with. I have to disappoint you…he is always on time. I just have to say he’s got a good family behind him, he’s had a good background in the academy and he’s a good trainer, he trains really well. I can’t believe all of these stories about him being unprofessional.”
So, Solskjaer is protecting Greenwood and after his 17 goals in a breakout 2019-20 season, why wouldn’t he? Solskjaer reportedly sets high standards off the pitch and is Sir Alex Ferguson-esque with his approach to discipline and small things like timekeeping, dress code et al.
It will be intriguing to see if Greenwood now stays out of the headlines and can match the high standards off the pitch at Manchester United, as he will likely start this weekend. He’s only scored twice in the League Cup so far this season, so needs to regain his form from ‘Project Restart’ as that is what earned him an England call up.
Solskjaer also gave a Manchester United team news update ahead of the clash against Chelsea and he expects Greenwood, Harry Maguire and Edinson Cavani to all be fit to face the Blues.