Mason Greenwood: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer unhappy with England over Manchester United striker’s call-up

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has criticised England’s use of Mason Greenwood after the Manchester United teenager was sent home from international duty for breaking coronavirus protocols.

Greenwood and international team-mate Phil Foden were axed by manager Gareth Southgate midway through a Nations League camp for a liaison with two women at the national team’s hotel in Reykjavik.

Solskjaer felt that Greenwood should not have been named in Southgate’s squad so soon after finishing the 2019-20 season with United, who were knocked out of the Europa League semi-finals less than 10 days before Greenwood’s call-up.

The United manager was also unhappy with Greenwood being selected for media duties while away with England. 

The 18-year-old was chosen to take questions one of the camp’s  press conferences, as has often happened with first-time call-ups during Southgate’s reign.

“Of course I speak to Mason and I’ve spoken to Mason. What we speak about and discuss will be between the two of us,” Solskjaer said, when asked about Greenwood’s indiscretion. 

“The kid had a fantastic season, he’s just come through, I’ve worked and the club has worked and all the staff here have worked really hard too, when we gave Mason enough time on the pitch, when we gave him exposure in the media. 

“Then you come to the end of the season and we’ve had less than two weeks off and he’s called up to the national team. 

“I have to be honest enough to say I tried my best to give him a rest over the summer, at the club we asked specifically and pointed out he should have had a rest. 

“He needs it mentally and physically after that season he had and the first thing that happens is one, he’s called up and two, he’s right there in the press. 

“We’ve done whatever we can to protect him and I will keep on helping him. I know when he comes back into the daily routine of the club and what we do to him he’ll be fine.”

Solskjaer said that despite training by himself due to his breach of Covid-19 protocols, Greenwood was available for selection ahead of United’s Premier League opener against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

“He’s part of the group. With the testing and COVID protocols, he trained by himself for a little while and as soon as possible he’s a big part of this group. 

“This is where we feels at home, not comfortable. We challenge him, we’ve got people looking after him. We had a plan with him throughout the season and it worked really well.

“But he needed a rest. I look at the [press conference] and he’s talking about looking at this season when it’s over and it’s first day of new season. He’s an 18-year-old kid who needs managing.”

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