Teddy Sheringham is not worried Mason Greenwood is simply playing a supporting role for Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United, believing it is better to play out of position than to watch from the sidelines.
Greenwood broke into the United squad as a winger but has long been regarded as their future as a center forward.
The 19-year-old started in that position against Leeds United on the opening day of the Premier League season and scored a 5-1 win.
However, five of his subsequent six starts in all competitions saw Greenwood deploy on the right flank, while also occupying the flank after coming off the bench in the EFL Cup defeat to West Ham.
Greenwood hasn’t increased his tally by three goals this season since Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford.
Ronaldo isn’t the only player standing in the way of Greenwood, with Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial also having forward opportunities, while Marcus Rashford will soon be back from injury.
Greenwood took 11.87 percent of his 337 touches in 2021-22 in the opposing area, placing fifth for United in this regard behind Martial, Cavani, Ronaldo and the now deceased Daniel James.
But the English international’s 24 shots are only surpassed by Bruno Fernandes (29), who is also the only United player to make more than eight appearances.
Indeed, having been on the pitch in 634 minutes, behind only David de Gea, Fernandes and Paul Pogba, former United forward Sheringham believes Greenwood will benefit from being in the thick of the action.
“I think he’s a fantastic player,” Sheringham told Stats Perform. “Obviously he’s not being played in his natural position as number nine or number 10 at the moment, but he’s still a youngster.
“He’s still learning his trade, and you’d rather learn your trade on the pitch but not in your position, rather than being off the pitch watching the game like a sub waiting to get into that position.
“He is still learning the game, he is still involved in these great games and that experience can be fantastic for him.”
Greenwood played 89 minutes on the right against Villarreal on Wednesday, during which he had an attempt and created two chances.
He was then replaced by Jesse Lingard, who assisted Ronaldo’s crucial winner in the last-minute 2-1 victory in the Champions League group stage.