Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Mason Greenwood is ready to make it at Manchester United after his first senior goal won their opening Europa League group match against Astana.
Greenwood, 17, beat Marcus Rashford’s record to become the club’s youngest ever European goalscorer aged just 17 years and 353 days.
And his manager insisted he was impressed with the maturity of his performance as United edged past the Kazakhstan champions with a nervy 1-0 win.
“We made it hard for ourselves. Games like these, you want to make sure you win the game in the first 20 minutes and you can enjoy it,” Solskjaer said.
“We always know that in and around the box he is one of the best finishers we have got.
“Get him inside the box and you know something is going to happen. He is a natural and it is natural for him to score goals and be in and around the box.
“He knows how to hit a ball and he showed glimpses of what he can become.
“He is going to be important for us this season. He is a delightful young boy to work with.”
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer blooded three other academy graduates with Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and Axel Tuanzebe also given starts.
“We think today was a great opportunity for them (the young players),” Solskjaer added.
“We wouldn’t throw them in if they weren’t ready. Some of them won’t play against West Ham but will play against Rochdale midweek.
“If you want to make it as a Man United player you need to handle the fans. They will all grow with it and become better for it.
“Mason won the game for us. Angel did well and Chong showed glimpses. Two clean sheets so now we’re looking forward to Sunday.”
United face West Ham on Sunday and know they will need a better performance to beat Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
Nemanja Matic insisted the quartet are the future of the club.
“It is good for the young players to have the opportunity to play these games. They have to use that, work hard and get more chances,” Matic said.
“It is great the club give them the chance. I am happy for them. They are young and want to prove they deserve to wear the shirt. They are the future of the club.”