Premier League English

Mason Greenwood key factor in Manchester United’s transfer priorities next summer

Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe, Lautaro Martinez and Harry Kane – these luminaries are the four latest names to be linked with a transfer to Manchester United after reports alleged this week that Edinson Cavani, 34, will be leaving Old Trafford at the end of the season.

After years of guarded, and mostly underwhelming, activities in the transfer market, United are finally acting in the manner befitting a club of its stature should and fans will be hoping the recent signings of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane signal a new change of direction after May’s virulent public protests against the Glazers.

United seem to have solved their vulnerability at right-wing and centre-back with their latest two additions but, when considering their need for a defensive midfielder in view of the glaring fact that Cavani has only one season left, the Red Devils need to continue planning ahead to get the best from the transfer market world class players.

Even at this juncture before the current transfer window closes, it’s already clear that signing a new midfielder and centre-forward will be United’s immediate priority next year. PSG’s Kylian Mbappe would supposedly be available on a free transfer, although the Frenchman’s obvious preference is to join Real Madrid should he finally leave Paris Saint-Germain. In the case of Haaland and Kane, both command substantial fees and wages.

Without Cavani, United might be compelled to splurge on a world-class centre-forward to lay the foundations for success for years to come, and this is where 19-year-old Mason Greenwood is highly likely to have an impact on that decision.

Ever since a young Greenwood, playing through United’s academy ranks, lit up dark, gloomy winter nights at Leigh Sports Village, it has always been foreboded that he has the potential to develop into one of the club’s first-choice strikers for the new decade.

After getting off to a bit of a shaky start to last season, the 19-year-old finally rose to the occasion and ended the campaign on a strong note, scoring six Premier League goals across six games and he seems to have continued in that rich vein of form, looking even hungrier than ever before as he scored on the first day of the new season against Leeds in the Reds’ 5-1 win – a very telling sign at the beginning of a new campaign for the Red Devils.

Greenwood looks to have bulked up physically as he confidently led United’s attack against Leeds, demonstrating high energy when pressing, tactical awareness and the clinical finishing that is one of his trademarks.

It was a mature display from Greenwood and, if he can consistently perform like that across this season, even seasoned campaigner Cavani might find it hard to replace him in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s starting XI. Undoubtedly Greenwood has the momentum and he needs to ensure he maintains it.

Ultimately, if the lad can amass over 15 Premier League goals this season and gain Solskjaer’s trust as the club’s regular number nine, then that could ultimately help to decide the United boss’ transfer priority next summer.

History suggests Greenwood certainly has the ability to do so.