Jamie Redknapp believes the dazzling growth of Mason Greenwood at Manchester United this season has become reflective of the success of Michael Owen at Liverpool.
A young Owen succeeded Robbie Fowler as a first-choice player in his first full season at Anfield and netted 23 goals in 44 games-doubling the tally the next season and earning the Ballon d’Or at age 21.
Greenwood scored 19 goals in 49 appearances at just age of 18 for United this season.
Redknapp on Mason Greenwood ‘s brilliant season at United told Daily Mail:
“Now we’re seeing why there was such excitement. United are a club who treat young players properly. They pride themselves on it.
“That’s why we can be sure Greenwood is in good hands. They will be in his ear keeping him grounded.
“I remember seeing Michael Owen break through, too. I was on the pitch the day he made his Liverpool debut against Wimbledon and became the club’s youngest scorer at 17 years and 144 days.
“That was in May 1997 but we’d heard long before that about this boy from the academy who was coming through the ranks.
“That’s what happens at clubs when they have a special talent on their hands: rumours go around. The only question is whether they can handle the step up. Owen did, and Greenwood is doing so, too.”
Redknapp indicated Greenwood ‘s performance even more challenging prospect for defenders than Owen did.
“With Owen, defenders would try to show him on to his left foot because they knew it was his weaker side,” he wrote. “Keep the ball away from his right foot and maybe he won’t score.
“Greenwood doesn’t seem to have a weak side. Left foot, right foot, it doesn’t matter.
“He likes a stepover but he doesn’t use them for the sake of looking flash. He uses them to unbalance defenders and gain half a yard because that’s all he needs to pull the trigger. The power he generates in his shots is a weapon.
“Owen always had a good support system around him, from his family and those at the club. He was a sensible lad — he didn’t let anything distract him from football.
“Greenwood is at the perfect club for his development, too. They will have people ensuring he is kept on the right track, just as the Class of ’92 were guided so expertly. At 18 years old, Greenwood can go far, as long as he listens to those around him. Continue at this rate and he will walk into my Team of the Season next year.” – he concluded.