'The kid has quality in abundance' - Cole backs Greenwood to be Man Utd regular

Getty Images
A former Old Trafford favourite has talked up the talents of a teenager making a breakthrough in Manchester at the start of the 2019-20 season

Mason Greenwood has the "quality" and the right "mentality" to become an important player for Manchester United in the near future, according to Andy Cole.

The young striker, who celebrated his 18th birthday on Tuesday, has already racked up seven appearances across all competitions this season, scoring twice.

He netted his first senior goal in United colours to earn Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side a 1-0 home victory over Astana in the Europa League on September 19, becoming the youngest scorer in European competition in the club's history.

Greenwood followed up that performance with another goal in a Carabao Cup third-round tie against Rochdale, which the Red Devils scraped through on penalties after a 1-1 draw in normal time.

The English forward is expected to return to Solskjaer's starting XI for a Europa League trip to AZ on Thursday night, with a glowing endorsement from a club legend likely to boost his confidence even further.

Cole, part of United's 1999 treble-winning side, insists it "won't be long" before Greenwood is a fixture in Solskjaer's line up.

“The kid has got quality in abundance, to be fair to him," he told MUTV.

“If he keeps working and keeps progressing, which I have no doubt he will do, it won't be too long before he is lining up for the first team on a regular basis.

“When you watch him, as a former centre-forward, you can see with your own eyes that he has two great feet. If you look at his mentality as well, he looks like he has got his head screwed on for a very young boy who has just turned 18. 

“I watched him a lot during the pre-season tour and watched him quite a few times on MUTV as well, so you realise he has quality. It won't be long."

United's biggest problem at the start of the 2019-20 campaign has been a lack of goals, with only nine to their name from seven Premier League outings.

The Red Devils were held to a 1-1 draw against Arsenal on Monday night, once again failing to finish off their opponents after getting into a winning position.

Cole went on to admit that a lack of firepower is a concern for his old club, but he feels Solskjaer will inspire a turnaround in fortunes sooner rather than later.

The former England frontman said: “It is a little bit of a concern, not getting that second goal when we go a goal up and can't kill the game off.

"So it has been a little bit disappointing but, listen, Ole and the rest of the coaching staff and team are working very hard to try to put it right. They will hit the net soon.”

Article continues below

On United's aspirations in the Europa League this season, Cole added: "You are in it to win it.

“That is the way you have got to look at it. This is an opportunity to get into the Champions League next season, guaranteed, if you can't get there due to our league position.

"You have got to go out and try to win the competition. The players out here would like to win it, no doubt.”