England captain Harry Kane says Mason Greenwood has already made an impression and proven he’s a ‘real complete goalscorer’ on the training ground after being called up to the senior squad for the first time in his career.
Greenwood has been given the nod ahead of England’s opening Nations League clashes with Iceland and Denmark and there are calls for the 18-year-old to be handed his full international debut after an exceptional run of form at club level with Manchester United in the period after lockdown.
However, the teenager is up against the likes of Kane, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling and Danny Ings for a place in Gareth Southgate’s starting XI in Reykjavik on Saturday.
But it appears Greenwood has given himself a strong chance of game-time with a string of impressive displays in training, which have clearly caught Kane’s eye.
‘Mason’s been great since the first training session we had. You can tell he’s full of confidence as a player, not afraid to shoot, not afraid to take players on and that’s exactly what we want,’ the Tottenham striker said at a press conference on Friday afternoon.
‘He’s obviously done great for his club in the period after lockdown especially and it’s great to have him in the team.
‘As a goalscorer, people use the phrase “natural goalscorer” and I guess it’s just one of those things you work on a lot, being in the right place at the right time.
‘Some of it is just instinct, balls dropping to you in the box and being able to finish it.
‘But I guess looking at him in the short time we’ve spent together, it’s all different types of finishes, whether it’s left foot or right foot, inside of the foot, powerful shots – I think that shows a real complete goalscorer, when you can score in any situation.
‘Obviously it’s only been a short space of time but he definitely looks like a real top finisher and we look forward to having him in squads to come because he’s still very young.’
Manchester City wonderkid Phil Foden is also in contention to start this weekend but Southgate refused to give away any hints about the team he intends to pick in Iceland’s capital.
‘I don’t think you’d expect me to genuinely answer that!’ he joked.
‘But what I would say is that everything on the training pitch, we’d have no hesitation in starting any of the players that have been with us.
‘That’s why they’ve been picked in the first place but then you’re never certain how they will adapt and how they will fit in with the group but they’re two of another group of very exciting young players coming through the English system.’
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