News making the rounds recently was that the young colossus, Erling Braut Haaland, was on his way to Manchester from Norway for transfer talks ahead of a move to Manchester United in January. The 19-year-old is one of Europe’s hottest young talents at the moment and is taking the stage by storm.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer later dismissed talks of Haaland being in Manchester to finalise a deal but we all know something is going on in the background regarding the Norwegian.
He has scored an impressive 28 goals in 22 games for Salzburg – a goal tally which so far is higher than that of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial combined this season with the duo mustering 14 between them in the Premier League. Based on that, it’s no surprise that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who gave him his professional debut at Molde, wants to reunite with the Norwegian.
United have been crying for a goal scorer in recent times and have yet to nail in a centre forward for that purpose. With Romelu Lukaku, United’s last big attempt at getting a striker, out of the club, Haaland might be the next in line to make that spot his own given current centre-forward Anthony Martial’s inconsistent form with only four games to his name in the English top-flight.
Solskjaer will be hoping Haaland’s arrival does spur Martial on. Healthy competition coming from another striker might galvanise the Frenchman and bring about a step up in his overall game as well because already we know the talent is there but maybe the motivation or competition isn’t.
Haaland will be cup-tied if he signs which means he won’t feature in the Europa League. That means Martial can be rested for European fixtures and they still remain competitive in both tournaments (EPL and Europa League). But Anthony Martial isn’t the only striker in the team is he? What then happens to young Mason Greenwood?
Greenwood is currently enjoying his breakout season in Manchester and is showing the rest of the world the promise that everyone knows he has.
He has scored four times in the Europa league while majorly featuring as a striker and considering he was only given 242 minutes in the Premier League so far, there’s reason to believe he could’ve bagged more than two goals in the competitions if he was given a more consistent run of form.
A new arrival in his position will mean he plays out wide on the right-wing instead of his favourite position up front, behind regular starter Daniel James, which may be detrimental to his progress as a striker with his game time in the first team coming out of position.
It begs the question, if United have a youngster with promise and potential to be an elite forward, why go all out to chase another youngster who is technically unproven in a major league?
The potential signing of Haaland means Greenwood becomes a third choice option. It’s worrisome because even as second choice, he is barely getting good enough opportunities to stake a claim.
Haaland certainly has a huge upside with probably the biggest potential of any young striker in Europe asides Kylian Mbappe but Greenwood’s potential is scary as well. As we said, he has proven that he can mix it up with the big boys in the Premier League with two goals scored in pressure situations (equalizers against Everton and Sheffield United), might I add.
Haaland will be coming into the Premier League as more of an unknown than even Greenwood and you never know if he’ll actually succeed. The EPL has humbled even the elite of strikers (flashback to Falcao) and there’s no mercy for young strikers as well, particularly one coming into a side desperate to deliver.
The belief around the club should be that Mason Greenwood’s future will be at Old Trafford even though the future might look bleak. At the same time, the possibility of Haaland not choosing United as his next club is there but whatever happens, the ripple effects on Greenwood should be strongly put into consideration.