Mason Greenwood’s rise to prominence at Manchester United can be likened to that of Ryan Giggs, says Paul Parker, with the 18-year-old bursting onto a senior stage in spectacular fashion.
The Red Devils have seen many talented academy graduates break into their first team down the years.
David Beckham, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes formed part of the fabled Class of ’92 alongside Giggs.
United have also looked to invest in the best young talent on the market, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney acquired for big money while still in their teens.
Greenwood is now following in those illustrious footsteps, with Parker among those to have hailed the impact of a player that few were tipping to shine so brightly at the start of the 2019-20 campaign.
The former United defender told the Talking Devils podcast of a youngster who already has 15 goals to his name this term: “Maybe he’s the first since Ryan Giggs. People might say Paul Scholes and the others but people knew about them.
“Mason has been around but he’s suddenly come on.”
Parker added on the benefits that an enforced mid-season break has had on Greenwood: “The lockdown period has made a huge difference.
“He now looks like a man. His body shape has changed… he looks more imposing.
“He is young but players know they can’t knock him around anymore. Someone could have told him to do it [bulk up] but you have to want to do it. He has.
“And now he has the potential to be a player the likes of which United haven’t had since Ryan.”
Greenwood has figured in all five of United’s fixtures since competitive action resumed in mid-June.
A starting berth has now been nailed down, with three goals recorded across his last two outings.
The exciting forward hit two in his most recent appearance, with a spectacular brace recorded in a 5-2 mauling of Bournemouth.
With a devastating partnership being struck up with fellow frontmen Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, the Red Devils will hoping to see more inspiration offered by in-form stars when they take in a trip to relegation-threatened Aston Villa on Thursday.