Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knew a year ago that Mason Greenwood was ready to take the Premier League by storm.
On the first day of United's pre-season tour in Australia, Solskjaer outlined his plans for Greenwood, insisting the striker, then 17, would play a key role in the first-team.
Now 18, Greenwood has vindicated Solskajer's belief, his fourth goal in three games in Thursday's 3-0 rout of Aston Villa taking his tally for the season to a remarkable 16 in his first full campaign.
Only United legends George Best, Brian Kidd and Wayne Rooney – all with 17 – scored more as teenagers in one season for the club, with Greenwood set to surpass them all this term.
A clinical finisher whose running at opponents has been likened to that of former United striker Robin van Persie, the ferocious power behind Greenwood's goals has been something to behold.
His stunning strike against Villa, an unstoppable 20-yard effort, came on the back of two similar goals against Bournemouth the previous weekend, with goalkeepers powerless to stop his rocket-like shots.
Such has been Greenwood's impact, even players at rival clubs have acknowledged his supreme talent, with Phil Foden comparing his finishing to that of Manchester City's record goalscorer Sergio Aguero.
Foden, who has played with Greenwood for England Under-21s, said: “Mason is the best I’ve seen, finishing-wise.
“He’s both footed. In and around the box, he’s always going to score.”
Asked how Greenwood compared to Aguero, in terms of finishing, Foden said: “High up, finishing-wise. For his age, he’s unbelievable. I don’t know how he does it, to be honest.
“It's just the right type of shot, you know what I mean? He just knows when to finesse or lace it and he shoots quickly, the keeper is never stable or set.”
United goalkeeper David De Gea echoed Foden but warned against putting too much pressure and expectation on the teenage prodigy.
"He's a great player, a top finisher,” said De Gea.
“You don't know if he's left or right-footed and it's great to see the kid scoring goals.
“But we have to have some patience with him because he's young."
United are on a 17-match unbeaten run in all competitions and just a point behind fourth-placed Leicester, having trailed them by 14 points just nine games ago.
The final day clash between Leicester and United could decide which of them secures a top-four place, with De Gea warning there can be no let-up.
De Gea, set to make his 400th United appearance in Monday's clash with Southampton, said: “Of course we're very confident now, but we haven't done anything yet.
“We have some important games coming now so we need to be very, very focused and keep the level that we showed today and in the last four games.
“We're in a good mood, a good way, so yes, we keep looking forward to the next game.”
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