Legal Guardian of the Football forums
- May 16, 2009
We all know Greenwood is a talent, there is no doubt about that but out of curiosity is he as dangerous as the likes of Owen and Rooney in their teenage years? Hypothetically if there was a major tournament round the corner and Greenwood was asked to start in an England shirt, would he have the same devastating global impact that those two did?
Let's look at some stats of the three players in question...
|Wayne Rooney||Michael Owen||Mason Greenwood|
|2002/03: 37 games 8 Goals (16/17 Years Old)||1997/98: 44 games 23 Goals (17/18 Years Old)||2019/20: 47 games 17 Goals (17/18 Years Old)|
|2003/04: 40 games 9 Goals (17/18 Years Old)||1998/99: 40 games 23 Goals (18/19 Years Old)|
|2004/05: 43 games 17 Goals (18/19 Years Old)||1999/00: 30 games 12 Goals (19/20 Years Old) Injured.|
Now before we go into a detailed analysis, lets remind ourselves of some of the things said about the likes of Rooney and Owen and their achievements..
Arsene Wenger on Rooney...
Rooney is the biggest England talent I've seen since I arrived in England. There has certainly not been a player under 20 as good as him since I became a manager here."
Owen wins golden boot as teenager
Owen replaced the injured Robbie Fowler as Liverpool's first choice striker in 1997–98. He won the Premier League Golden Boot and was awarded the PFA Young Player of the Year award. Owen also finished in third place in the PFA Player of the Year voting behind Dennis Bergkamp and Tony Adams. finishing in fourth position in the FIFA World Player of the Year and European Player of the Year international awards.
Greenwood's career trajectoryStars at World Cup 1998
After Argentina had taken a sixth-minute lead, Owen was fouled in the penalty area by Roberto Ayala and Alan Shearer equalised with the penalty kick. In the 16th minute, Owen gave England a 2–1 lead with a sensational individual goal. After beating defenders Ayala and José Chamot, he struck the ball past goalkeeper Carlos Roa from just outside the penalty box. In 2013, the goal was voted as the third-greatest in England's history. England eventually drew the match and went out of the tournament on penalties. At the end of the year, he won a public vote to be elected winner of the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year title.
Will his career trajectory be similar where we remember his youthful version with more fondness than his so called physical prime or is Greenwood a different kettle of fish and have more growth to his game than they did? and more likely to peak as a 23-27 year old rather than burn out a little once out of his teens..
My personal opinion is that injury withstanding, Greenwood has more 'range' technically and tactically than the likes of Owen and Rooney and has the potential to outperform them in the long term but due to his more languid frame, he doesn't quite have that elite physical dynamism just yet and it might take another season or two before he could take an international tournament by storm whereas Owen and Rooney were in some ways almost fully formed in terms of the physical threat they brought to the men's game.. Owen was never faster or nippier than he was as a teen (which was a huge part of his game) and Rooney was already like a grown-ass man at 16 but had the agility and speed of a man much smaller in build which made him incredibly difficult to defend against when on the run... he was also more off the cuff which made the younger Rooney more of a bigger game-changing threat in these big encounters.
Having said that, the young Rooney simply was not as clinical as Owen and Greenwood already looks more accomplished in front of goal. Question is, does Greenwood have the 'impact' young Rooney did on the flow or direction of a game? can he grab it by the scruff of its neck in the same way Wayne could?
Widening the field a little, in a global sense how highly does Greenwood rank in comparison to other teenage stars of the past (i.e. Raul, R9 etc) and how do his numbers fare?