By 90Min
July 25, 2018

Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood is the youngest player in the club's pre-season tour squad this summer, featuring as a second half substitute against both Club America and San Jose Earthquakes (at the time of writing).

The teenager was born in October 2001 and was just five days old when David Beckham's iconic free-kick against Greece sent England to the World Cup in South Korea/Japan.

Just think about that for a moment.

At the age of 16, Greenwood has only just finished school. He isn't legally allowed to learn to drive for another few months and yet is already gaining invaluable first team game experience alongside the likes of Juan Mata, Antonio Valencia, Alexis Sanchez, Nemanja Matic and others.

He was handed 15 minutes against Club America last week and a further 25 minutes against San Jose by manager Jose Mourinho. He gave a lively performance against the former, even forcing a save out of the Mexican side's goalkeeper in the 1-1 draw.

Mourinho has bemoaned the lack of available first team players because of the World Cup, but Greenwood, like Tahith Chong and a handful of other United juniors, has earned this chance.

Charles McQuillan/GettyImages

Greenwood scored 16 times in 17 appearances for United in the Premier League U-18 North division last season. That tally included a flurry of 12 goals in just seven outings towards the end of the campaign as the team topped the final standings.

Capable of playing as both a centre-forward and off a main striker, he scored a hat-trick in just his fourth league appearance for the U-18s.

He was also named player of the tournament as the youth team won the ICGT trophy in the Netherlands in May, scoring his third goal of the competition to beat Real Madrid by a 1-0 scoreline in the final. And that was despite being the youngest player in the United squad.

Earlier this year, Goal correspondent Kris Voakes spoke of Greenwood's 'mesmerising close control', while a recent Reserves & Youth end-of-season feature in popular fanzine 'United We Stand' described him as 'sensational' and gushed over his quick feet and an ability to take corners, free-kicks and penalties, as well as score goals both inside and outside of the box.

'He is a big talent, a big prospect, who is two-footed and knows where the goal is,' were the words of in-house United journalist Adam Marshall.

And prior to jetting out to the United States for the summer tour, the Manchester Evening News reported that the England U-17 youngster embarrassed experienced Italy international Matteo Darmian during a training session at the club's Carrington base.

Gareth Copley/GettyImages

Greenwood's potential is quite frankly enormous, and while it is far too soon to expect that the teenager will become a first team star, this is certainly one blossoming career to watch.

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