Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits Mason Greenwood has more talent as a teenager than the Manchester United manager possessed as he lauded the 13-goal forward.
Greenwood has enjoyed a breakout season at Old Trafford and provided both a goal and an assist in the midweek win at Brighton and Hove Albion.
The England youth international has often played out wide, but Solskjaer on Friday discussed the possibility of the 18-year-old soon moving into a central striking role he occupied in the academy.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s Premier League meeting with Bournemouth, the manager says Greenwood has made much more progress than he had the same stage of his career.
“We have done well over the course of the season, giving him more and more exposure, more and more game time,” Solskjaer said of Greenwood.
“It’s not easy being a young boy. He could still play in this season’s FA Youth Cup team, so he’s a young boy we have to look after.
“But he’s performing off the bench or when he starts and he’s developed fantastically this season. The sky’s the limit – it’s up to him.
“He knows what he should do, can do and must do to continue playing, but that’s between us.
“He’s a centre-forward by trade, but he likes to drift wide, he likes to face forwards, and that’s a different role from being the forward up through the middle.
“You see some centre-forwards who have their back to goal, get hold of the ball, link it, which Mason is improving on. His body is filling out and he can play that position.
“I think we can see maybe like we have done with Marcus [Rashford] and Anthony [Martial] as well: they are good centre-forwards, very good footballers, good goalscorers and with good movement. They’re not stuck between the posts.
“Mason’s way ahead of where I was when I was 18 or 19, that’s for sure. He’s got a knack of scoring goals – it’s difficult to say anything different because it’s natural for him. It was what I felt I could do as well.
“He’s a brilliant boy to work with. If he keeps on learning, keeps on making better and better decisions, he’ll be good.”
There had been reports United were looking to boost their squad with another teenager, Birmingham City’s 17-year-old Jude Bellingham.
But the midfielder now appears set instead for Borussia Dortmund, although Solskjaer brushed off a question on the youngster.
“I think there’s been loads of speculation linking us to every single talented player from the age of 15 to 25 really, so I can’t comment on every single player that’s been linked with us,” he said. “So, no, I can’t really comment.”