Sir Alex Ferguson knew Mason Greenwood was destined to be a star at Manchester United.
The 18-year-old striker took his tally to 13 goals this season – six in the Premier League – with United’s opening goal of a 3-0 win over Brighton on Tuesday night.
It was a fine goal, too. Running in from the right wing, cutting inside and tucking the ball low and hard inside the goalkeeper’s near post, before later providing a brilliant assist for Bruno Fernandes’ second of his two goals.
The youngster is Manchester United’s third top scorer this season, but is only five goals behind teammates Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, and with confidence he’s currently playing with it’s highly likely he’ll get more.
It’s been quite the breakthrough campaign for the youngster, who is now a regular starter for Ole Gunnar Solskjear on the right side of his very mobile front-three.
But, while Greenwood has only come on the radar of the first-term recently, it appears Fergie knew years ago – of course he did – that the young forward was destined for stardom at Old Trafford.
According to the Daily Mail, the legendary former United boss told people at a League Managers’ Association lunch three or four years ago that Greenwood would make it at the highest level.
“I think we have found one,” Fergie was said to have declared.
Coming from the man who plucked Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal and brought him to the Premier League, that’s saying something.
Praise poured in for the Red Devils wonderkid on Tuesday night after another bright performance and his latest goal.
And United legend Gary Neville even likened the way he strikes a ball to former teammate Robin van Persie.
“It’s getting to the point now where it will be impossible to leave this lad out,” Neville said on Sky Sports.
“He reminds me so much of Robin van Persie when he cuts in on that left foot off that right side. The composure, the technique.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also singled out Greenwood for special praise, calling him a ‘special talent’ after the teenager helped put Brighton to the sword.
“He’s getting better,” said the manager.
“You can see clearly that he’s maturing and improving, he’s only 18 still so we will see more from him.
“I’ve said it throughout the year that, as long as we can get him faced up in and around the box, he’ll create chances for us.
“But in this game his hold-up play and his link-up play and general movement was fantastic as well.
“He’s a special talent, a special kid that we are going to look after, try to develop into a top, top player. He’s doing well now, but he is still young and has things to learn.
“He knows that but we have a special talent there we have to nurture.”