February 26, 2021

‘Greenwood can be Kane’s England deputy’ – Man Utd star is a ‘natural’ goalscorer, says Rooney

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The former Red Devils striker believes the teenage frontman is a better option for Gareth Southgate than Tammy Abraham or Marcus Rashford

Mason Greenwood can be Harry Kane’s deputy for England, according to Wayne Rooney, who has described the Manchester United star as a natural goalscorer.

Greenwood has been handed his first international call up ahead of the Three Lion’s UEFA Nation’s League fixtures against Iceland and Denmark in September.

The 18-year-old scored 17 goals across all competitions for United in 2019-20, establishing himself as a key member of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first team in the process.

Greenwood was one of the most prolific marksmen in the Premier League post-lockdown, and the young forward’s impressive run of form convinced Gareth Southgate that he was ready to step into the senior fold.

“If you said to me three or four months ago, I would have said we know he is a high-quality player who is having a good season but maybe it is a bit early to put him up to the senior team, but the reality is that his performances and goalscoring has been so good that he has earned the right,” Southgate said last week.

At the moment, Kane serves as England’s focal point in attack, but Rooney thinks Greenwood should be the first man off the bench on the occasions that the Tottenham talisman is unavailable.

United’s all-time record scorer has ranked the teenager ahead of his Old Trafford team-mate Marcus Rashford and Chelsea‘s Tammy Abraham in terms of ability, while comparing him to former Liverpool striker Michael Owen.

Rooney wrote in his latest column for The Times: “Greenwood made 40 appearances in Europe and the Premier League in 2019-20, compared with Foden’s 28, and he is a natural scorer, good with both feet, a taker of chances, calm in front of goal.

“He is probably the best finisher at United already at the age of 18 and in goalscorers you can just see it from day one — Harry Kane and Michael Owen had the knack and it’s the same with Greenwood.

“As I’ve said before, I wasn’t a natural scorer.

“That knack is rare and Gareth needs a proper deputy for Kane, someone he can slot in if Harry is injured or suspended.

“For me, Marcus Rashford is not such a natural scorer and nor is Tammy Abraham. But Greenwood can be that player.”

England take on Iceland on Saturday September 5 before playing Denmark on Tuesday September 8.