Mason Greenwood is going to be “a proper Manchester United player for a long time”, says Michael Owen, with the 17-year-old being tipped to earn a senior England call-up once he gets regular game time.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has taken the brave decision to ease the highly-rated youngster into the first-team fold at Old Trafford this season.
Minutes were awarded to Greenwood in 2018-19, with a debut made against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, but the Red Devils are looking for him to play a more prominent role in the current campaign.
Solskjaer agreed to part with Romelu Lukaku over the summer, while also sending Alexis Sanchez to Inter on loan, with the intention being that academy graduates would step up to fill the void.
Greenwood has set about doing just that, with a match-winning goal recorded on his latest outing in a Europa League clash with Astana.
Much is now expected of the teenager, with former United striker Owen telling BT Sport: “He'll have a part to play in the Premier League, no question.
“His goal record at youth level is phenomenal. In my mind he's going to be a proper Manchester United player for a long, long time.”
Ex-United midfielder Owen Hargreaves added: “Stay fit, stay healthy, and the sky is the absolute limit for him.
“He can be anything he wants, top scorer in the Premier League one day. I'm excited to see he's able to decide a Europa League game at 17.
“For a young player to have that composure in the box, he's going to be a top player.”
Greenwood has already earned international recognition with the England Under-21 side and is expected to take a step up with the Three Lions once fully established in the United set-up.
Owen said: “He's doing this on a weekly basis, playing with these players. He's desperate now to start with the big boys. They will feed him even better balls, and he'll quickly prove he's good enough to play in the first team already.
“It's all a mental thing now. He's good enough. He'll think a bit differently to a lot of the players because he's probably been carrying the youth team.
“As soon as he starts playing regularly for Manchester United he'll be in the England squad.”
While Greenwood is being backed to flourish at Old Trafford, Owen fears for those stuck on the fringes of the fold.
The likes of Fred and Marcos Rojo are offering little to suggest that they can play important roles for the Red Devils.
“They’re just squad players,” Owen said.
“It’s going to take two or three injuries for these types of players to get in the first team.
“Fred, probably the closest. They’re not going to play in any of the meaningful games, put it that way.
“You sink or swim. You either have to get yourself up to that level or you’re going to be sat as a squad player.”