Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Promises to Go Young in UEL Clash, Praises Mason Greenwood

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Manchester United host Astana, a side from Kazakhstan, in their Europa League opener tomorrow night. The match provides a chance to rotate the squad and play a lot of the younger, future stars within the organization. Part of this is by choice, but part of it is also out of necessity, given how so many first-teamers are currently injured or nursing minor knocks.

Look for players like Mason Greenwood, Tahith Chong, James Garner and Angel Gomes to get on the pitch for significant playing time.  “It’s a chance for some other players to get some minutes,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said ahead of the Euro clash.

“We have a game every three or four days now so we’ll see the use of the squad tomorrow.”

“It’s not just about enjoying yourself, it’s about getting results. But if you don’t throw them in, you don’t know what you’ve got.”

“In the Europa League you meet different types of teams and cultures. It’s important we win our home games, especially with two of our away games on astroturf.

“I think all the boys watched the Premier League games, the top games, watch other teams win trophies. I think they will want to get there [Champions League], and we want to get there. The Europa League is a pathway to get there.”

In regards to Greenwood in particular, OGS was full of extra, extensive praise. The Norwegian, known as the “baby-faced assassin” in his playing days, sees a special young player with clinical finishing abilities.

mason greenwood

“Mason is one of the best finishers I’ve seen, and I’ve played with quite few decent ones. Just work hard. There are so many years ahead of you. The next game is always the most important one. He needs game time,” Solskjaer said.

“I remember a kid who just wanted to play with his mates in under-18s. Now he is knocking on my door. His appetite for football must be growing.

“He is better than me now. I don’t have the accuracy any more. He is one of the best finishers I have seen.”

Manchester United vs Astana UEFA Europa League FYIs

Kickoff: Old Trafford, Thursday Sept 19, 8pm

Odds via Bwin: United win 1/5, Draw 11/2, Astana win 29/2

Prediction: United 4, Astana 0

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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