Interim-boss Ralf Rangnick surprisingly sees Manchester United and England starlet Mason Greenwood as “expendable”, according to one report.
The Bradford-born 20-year-old has hit five goals in 20 appearances for United this season. And he has featured in all six of Rangnick’s games in charge to date. But the England wannabe has yet to hit top form this season, along with a number of his Old Trafford team-mates.
And, according to a report in The Guardian, the United Academy graduate could find himself out in the cold under Rangnick.
It was Cristiano Ronaldo who was speculated upon to be the fall guy under Rangnick. It was felt the 36-year-old’s “static play” would see him chopped from a Rangnick side who were expected to press aggressively from the front.
United did so, to a degree against Crystal Palace and Burnley, but in the other games they have been found wanting. And Rangnick has demanded they improve their running output out of possession.
Ronaldo for his part has 14 goals, nine ahead of Greenwood, who was last year dropped from the England set-up.
As per the report, “there is confidence that Rangnick possesses the backbone to drop” Ronaldo. But more in danger of the axe at this present time is Greenwood.
The attacker was somewhat harshly subbed after an hour in the defeat to Wolves. The youngster was the fall guy with the German coach explaining the decision afterwards.
“His effort and performance was not outstanding but he was one of the better players today,” said Rangnick.
Sancho was arguably worse, but he got 15 more minutes before being replaced by Marcus Rashford, while veteran Edinson Cavani and Ronaldo lasted the full 90 minutes.
Rangnick wants to ‘make an athlete out of Greenwood’
Rangnick praised Greenwood at the start of December after he scored and starred in the 1-1 draw with Young Boys.
“He’s a massive talent – left foot, right foot, good on the ball. Also the way that he set up the goal for Fred on Sunday, so it’s about continuity.
“He has to develop physically but technically for his age he is a great player. My job is to develop him, to make an athlete out of him and if he manages to do that, he can become a regular player for this club,” said Rangnick.
But the report intimates that Rangnick does not have the patience to wait for Greenwood to develop. What that means for the forward’s long-term future is unclear.
After being at the club since the age of seven, Greenwood signed a new contract in February 2021. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer oversaw the deal which will keep him at the club until June 2025, with the option of a further year.