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Greenwood compared to Giggs as Man Utd baton is passed to the next generation

21:07 GMT+3 21/12/2019
Mason Greenwood Man Utd
Nicky Butt, who broke through at Old Trafford in the Class of ‘92, is pleased to see the Red Devils’ production line being as productive as ever

Mason Greenwood has been compared to Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs by Nicky Butt, with the 18-year-old striker picking up a baton which has passed through some memorable hands.

The Red Devils have prided themselves on youth production down the years, with their fabled Class of ’92 taking that process to unimaginable heights.

Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford are among those to have broken through since then, with the likes of Scott McTominay and Brandon Williams also dropping off the production line.

Greenwood could be the next to achieve superstar status, with the teenage frontman seeing regular minutes under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season and helping himself to seven goals.

He is following in illustrious footsteps, with Giggs among those to have paved the way for academy hopefuls to tread a similar path and inspire the next generation behind them.

“It’s always someone’s turn to carry the baton for the academy for a few months or years,” Butt told the Manchester Evening News.

“It was Jesse a few years ago, then it was Marcus and now it’s Mason. Hopefully it’ll be someone else pretty soon.

“I think it’s your duty to do that when you get your chance.”

Butt, who broke through alongside David Beckham and Paul Scholes, added: “It happened back in our day with Ryan first and then us lot, then it was Wes Brown, Darren Fletcher’s turn and so on.

“Now it’s Mason’s and the good thing about it is there’s so many around him. He’s not on his own. You might get the attention for a few months when you’re carrying the baton, but someone will come in and take the baton off you and it’s their turn.”

Solskjaer is placing plenty of trust in youth during his reign at Old Trafford, with the exploits of Greenwood and co proving to those harbouring dreams of one day gracing a similar stage that no doors will be closed to them.

Butt, who has stepped out of a role in United’s academy to become their head of first-team development, said: “It gives you hope [as a young player].

“Because no matter how good these young players are — like we had Ryan and Mason’s had Marcus — you know there’s a chance for you. If one person’s done it from the academy, everyone else can do it.

“That’s all you can ask for as a young person in any life. Hope to get a chance, whether that’s in the working environment or in football, if you believe there’s a chance for you, you’ll work your socks off from dawn till dusk.”