‘When you do well at Manchester United you’ll be under the spotlight’: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tells starlet Mason Greenwood he is a target now as he defends under-fire striker
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told Mason Greenwood that any ‘bad decisions’ will be highlighted now the teenage striker is a rising star at Manchester United.
Solskjaer admitted Greenwood had learned a harsh lesson following his expulsion from the England squad last month over a liaison with a woman in the team’s hotel in Iceland.
But the United boss defended the player’s professionalism on Friday after Sportsmail reported that Greenwood had been reprimanded over his time-keeping.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told Mason Greenwood he will now always be under the spotlight
Having put the 19-year-old’s absence from the wins over Newcastle and Paris Saint- Germain down to injury and illness, Solskjaer said Greenwood could return to the squad when United face Chelsea at Old Trafford on Saturday.
However, he acknowledged that Greenwood is in the spotlight now and any indiscretions will come under more intense scrutiny.
Referring to the Iceland episode, Solskjaer said: ‘I think Mason learned a harsh lesson this summer, of course.
Greenwood has been widely criticised since being sent home by the England camp last month
‘It’s the reality that when you do well at Man United you’ll be under the spotlight, whether it’s good or bad. The more bad decisions, the more likely you are to be followed.
‘When you play well you just keep yourself out of the limelight in that respect.’
Earlier this week, Sportsmail reported that Greenwood had been spoken to over issues with punctuality and ‘general tardiness’.
Solskjaer, as expected, mounted a robust defence of the player amid concerns over his discipline and, in particular, lateness, but Sportsmail understands that the teenager does have a timekeeping problem which has come to the attention of club officials recently.
The manager is understood to want to deal with the matter in private, while supporting the player in public.
Asked if Greenwood has made a target of himself, Solskjaer said: ‘You do when you play well. I’m not concerned at all with Mason making a target of himself because he came in, played fantastic and kicked on.
‘Yeah, he made a mistake with England. But he’s a fantastic boy to work with. We have a great record and tradition of bringing our players through. That means from early on you get good habits, we trust you, and you can express yourself. Mason has come through this programme.
The controversy came at a bad time for Solskjaer, after United started the season poorly
‘He’s never, ever late for training, he’s never a problem on the training ground. I’ve seen some ex-United players talking about him, and they don’t know what they’re talking about.
‘We’ve got photographers outside the training ground, so they can see every day he’s on time. He has never been an issue in training, he trains really well. I really enjoy seeing him develop. Hopefully he has shaken off his illness and he’ll be ready for this weekend.’
Solskjaer expects Greenwood and captain Harry Maguire to be available to face Chelsea, and Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani could make his debut after training for three weeks since signing as a free agent on deadline day.