Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick outlined the differences between “massive talent” Mason Greenwood and Erling Haaland after the Red Devils star scored a stunning Champions League goal.
Greenwood opened the scoring with a spectacular finish before Fabian Rieder equalised for Young Boys prior to half-time in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.
Already assured of a last-16 berth, Rangnick made 11 changes to the United team that started the 1-0 Premier League win over Crystal Palace, and Greenwood stood out in the final Group F fixture.
Greenwood scored his eighth goal in major European competition (excluding qualifiers) for United – the most of any player for the club before their 21st birthday, overtaking team-mate Marcus Rashford.
Rangnick praised the 20-year-old post-match, telling reporters: “I think, again, today, he also showed – not only because of that beautiful goal – but also the way he set up the opportunity for Juan Mata it was brilliant.
“He is a massive talent. Left foot, right foot, good on the ball. Also, the way that he set up the goal for Fred on Sunday [against Crystal Palace]. But, still, it’s about continuity. He still needs to develop physically. But technically, for his age, he’s a great player.
“My job is to develop him, to make an athlete out of him. If he manages to do that, he can become a regular player for this club.”
Rangnick was then asked about comparisons between Green and Borussia Dortmund sensation Haaland, who has been linked with a move to United.
“I don’t think that we should compare those two players,” Rangnick, who worked with Haaland at Salzburg, said. “They are different kind of strikers and players.
“Erling Haaland is extremely physical. He’s, I don’t know, 1.93 or 1.94cm. A different kind of striker. Erling, for me, is a target striker. He can play as a single striker, like a target-man, or with another striker in a 4–4-2.
“I think Mason is more of a nine-and-a-half. He can play as a striker, he can also come from the wing, he can play together with another striker. And he is very technical – left foot, right foot. As I said, sometimes he looks a little bit not on an athletic level. And, I think, we have to develop him there physically. But, technically, all the things that he can do with the ball are outstanding. So I am not so much worried about his technical level.
“We need to develop him physically and mentally to become the strongest version of himself. If we manage to do that, he can become a regular player and a very valuable player for our club for the future.”