Man Utd boss Solskjaer slammed by Ferdinand and Lineker for ‘baffling’ decision to play Greenwood wide in Saints draw

OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER was slammed by Rio Ferdinand and Gary Lineker for the 'baffling' decision to play Mason Greenwood out wide at Southampton.

The teenager started the season with a goal and shining performance as the No9 in the 5-1 demolition of Leeds.

But he was pushed out on to the right for the 1-1 draw at St Mary's to make room for Anthony Martial to start through the middle.

Greenwood, 19, did rescue United with the equalising goal but the former England stars believe he deserves to be the central striker – especially with Edinson Cavani not yet fit.

Ferdinand told his FIVE YouTube channel: "Mason Greenwood has arguably been our best player since we've come back.

"In one of the pre-season games I saw, I think against Everton, and the two games we've played in the league, he's been unbelievable.

"The guy has come back stronger, fitter, better, he's growing into a man from a boy – so why shift him from centre forward to out wide to bring Anthony Martial in? I don't understand it. 

"He's the goal-getter – Cavani's not fit, Greenwood put him as a No9. I think he's good enough to do that.


"So to play him out wide again, that was the one baffling thing for me."

Greenwood fired in the equaliser ten minutes after half-time on Sunday and then moved spearheaded the attack when Jadon Sancho replaced Martial on the hour mark.

But Lineker agreed with Ferdinand that Greenwood should have been there from the outset.

He tweeted: "[I] Would like to see Greenwood play up top. Looks a real box player. Much more so than Martial."

Speaking in April, Solskjaer revealed his reluctance to play Greenwood as a No9 – despite the success he enjoyed in the role coming through the Red Devils academy.

The Norwegian said: "Maybe in the future he can play as a central striker, but I still think that’s a few years away.

"Being a centre-forward in the Premier League is probably the hardest position to play.

"At the moment, I think Mason is more suited to playing that wide role, dropping into pockets, finding space and running in behind.

"I don’t want him with his back to goal and having two centre-backs up his backside.

"I think we have found a good way to develop him, but he might end up as a No9."

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