MASON Greenwood (£4.0m) was six years old when Cristiano Ronaldo scored that header in the 2008 Champions League final.
The thought of the two sharing a dressing room must be a surreal one for the Carrington graduate, who has played fewer professional games than the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has scored goals for Portugal.
The 17-year age gap between Greenwood and Ronaldo means the pair represent a combination of Manchester United’s past, present and future.
No doubt the young Englishman will learn a lot from arguably the greatest goalscorer of all time but how will the pair operate in tandem this season and how will CR7’s return impact Dream Team?
Greenwood has burst out of the blocks this season with a goal in each of Man United’s three league fixtures so far.
Notably, the teenager’s goals have been decisive – he put his side ahead against Leeds, opening the floodgates in the process, he equalised against Southampton to rescue a point, and he provided a winner against Wolves in the 80th minute.
Ronaldo has a reputation for being a ‘clutch player’ and the same term would be an accurate description of Greenwood at start of this campaign.
The young sharpshooter has produced 24 Dream Team points after three Game Weeks, making him the fifth-best forward at this stage.
Among Man United assets, only Bruno Fernandes (£6.7m) has more points at this juncture (26) by virtue of his hat-trick in Game Week 1.
Based on this evidence, Greenwood appears to be a very appealing asset and it would be reasonable to expect his ownership of 8.5% to rise during the international break.
However, it remains to be seen what forward line Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will prefer now that Ronaldo is once again a Man United player.
Greenwood has impressed as a centre-forward but has previously played from the right flank.
Ronaldo famously played from the right during his first stint at Old Trafford but has enjoyed tremendous success playing on the left of a front three and, in his latter years, centrally as a poacher.
Jadon Sancho (£4.1m) excelled at Borussia Dortmund as a right winger but played predominantly from the left against Wolves – a position Marcus Rashford (£5.0m) occupies when fit.
Paul Pogba (£4.8m) has also frequented the left-hand side when Solskjaer has opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation with two holding midfielders.
And of course Edinson Cavani (£4.5m) is pushing to lead the line after a very impressive end to 2020/21.
Competition for places is desirable for a manager but it can cause headache for Dream Team bosses – as anyone who has been undone by Pep Guardiola’s rotation policy in recent years will tell you.
Given his current form, surely Greenwood will keep his place in the starting line-up away at Newcastle, either as a right-sided forward or the central striker?
Fernandes and Ronaldo are also guaranteed starters so it might be wise for Dream Team gaffers to pivot away from Sancho at this stage – he failed to make a positive impact last weekend and is yet to register a single Dream Team point.
Rather than competing against each other, the stage seems set for Greenwood and Ronaldo to dovetail.
In terms of Dream Team, the former is relatively affordable (£4.0m) while the latter is the most-expensive player in the game (£7.5m) but then again, the Portuguese phenomenon does the hold the record for most points in a single season (477)…
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