The Europe League might be seen by many as a nuisance, even unimportant by a lot of clubs. Admittedly playing on a Thursday night and long plane journeys might not be ideal, but it could also by the best chance some sides have of making the Champions League next season.
At this point it looks like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is treating the competition as a chance to see how much he can rely on some of his younger players.
The Sun reported that Solskjaer was set to give Mason Greenwood a start against Astana this Thursday. It’s a massive chance for the youngster to prove he could be worth more chances in the Premier League. We’ve seen Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane initially break through playing in the Europa League in the past so this could be huge for Greenwood for two reasons.
Firstly it will determine if Solskjaer can trust him for the other Europa League games which will give him a further chance to impress. If he keeps doing well he will get a chance to play more in the Premier League too.
Secondly it may help determine if United push to sign another forward in January or next Summer. It’s been pretty clear that Rashford and Martial are not consistent enough to provide the goals for a team pushing towards the top of the league. Some good performances might be enough to convince the manager that he already has enough firepower at the club.
Although he’s yet to find the net for the first team, he was incredibly prolific for the U18 side where he scored more than a goal a game. This could be his chance to truly breakthrough if he does well.