Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has criticized Gareth Southgate and the Football Association for calling up Mason Greenwood to the England squad after Manchester United asked for him to be rested. Greenwood earned his first senior call up for the Nations League fixtures earlier this month and came off the bench for his debut in the win against Iceland.
The 18-year-old then landed himself in hot water after breaking Covid-19 rules by meeting two girls, with Phil Foden, in the team hotel, resulting in both players being sent home from the camp early.
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United criticized Greenwood’s behavior in a statement after the event – with the forward also apologizing himself – although Solskjaer believes his player should never have been put in a position where that could have happened.
The Red Devils boss told reporters: “The kid had a fantastic season, he’s just come through, we’ve worked really hard to give Mason enough time on the pitch, exposure in the media. “Then you come to the end of the season and we’ve had less than two weeks off and he’s called up. I tried my best to give him rest over the summer.
“We asked specifically that he should have had a rest, he needs it mentally and physically and the first thing that happens he’s called up and he’s right there in the press. We’ve done what we can to protect him, I’ve done what I can to help him, when he comes back into the daily routine he’ll be fine.”
The teenager was required to train alone when he returned to the club’s Carrington training base due to COVID restrictions but has been back in full training and is in contention to play against Crystal Palace.
“This is where he feels at home, not comfortable, we challenge him, he’s got people looking after him. had a plan with him throughout the season and it worked really well,” Solskjaer added.
“He needed a rest. I looked at the interview (Greenwood’s England press conference) and he’s talking about maybe looking back at this season when it’s over. And that’s actually on the first day of his new season. We have to understand he’s an 18-year-old kid who needs managing.”