How does Greenwood compare with Owen and Rooney as teens?

sammsky1

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Hard to tell until Greenwood gets a run at no 9, which Rooney and Owen already had when they broke through and were already bossing it.
 

Valencia Shin Crosses

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I think people are slightly underrating Greenwood because his attributes are much more attributable to a foreign player, as he doesn’t have the “English” style of explosive pace or power that the other two did, and instead beats players through technique and smaller things. The game is also miles different now than it was when the other two were coming up, as they had way more space to play in as an attacker that Greenwood really isn’t afforded.
 

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I see Greenwood somewhere in between the two in terms of style - his finishing is better than Rooney but not as good as Owen in breakthrough seasons. Whereas his all round game is superior to Owen but not Rooney level.

It still remains to be seen what Greenwood's best position is, with Owen is was always clear but not so much with Rooney

Rooney had a slight advantage of starting at Everton, not as much pressure or expectation as you get at United or Liverpool. But of course, he made the switch up in level while still young.

So far it's just 1 season though so can't get ahead of ourselves - Ole has managed Greenwood well this year and it was a freehit for him, next year the expectation level is going to be higher.
 

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I was too young to remember Owen properly, but Rooney was a beast. His physicallity help him a lot, and I think he reached his peak in his mid 20s and declined really young.

I dont think Greenwood is that way, he doesnt have any special fisical attributes, his best attributes are his technique and intelligence so I think he can actually get better once his body matures.

Of course comparing him to Owen and Rooney who are amongst the best teens in the sport of all time its a really high bar so if by the end of his career he is still being mentioned around them we can say he was a success
 

Offside

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He’s not as explosive as either but I think the natural finishing absolute he has is as good as anyone. Shearer said the other day he sees a player who can break his scoring record and that’s the vibe I get just a pure goal machine. He’s technically brilliant too more akin to a foreign forward of years gone by as opposed to English ones like Owen and Rooney.
 

ur2cdanger

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Rooney and Owen relied a lot on their physique and pace. Greenwood even though is fast, he doesn't rely that much on his pace for getting his goals. Even if he loses his pace, I can still see him scoring tons of goals. From a purely goal scoring point of view, I think Mason will have more time in his peak than Owen or Rooney. I can see him having a career like Giggs well into his 34-35 contributing a lot of goals & assists.
 

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Thing with Greenwood is although he's a teenager, you wouldn't know it by watching him.

Both Owen and Rooney exuded raw, young talent and pace. They played football like everyone at school dreams they could.

Greenwood is possibly the most intelligent player for his age I've seen at Utd. I don't think we'll see him burning out unless he has poor managers. So exciting.
Funny you say that because his football intelligence is the part of the game that I think he needs to work on the most. What I see is in fact his raw talent. What I don't see is the off the ball work that smart players do...
 

Mr Smith

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Hard to compare Greenwood to Rooney really, they're so different. Greenwood and Owen is a much better comparison, both seem to show maturity beyond their years in front of goal.
 

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Another important part about this discussion is how CF/ST position have evolved since then, back than it was 2 strikers supporting each other, now? CF is a dying breed.

If you put a teenage Owen in the modern game, can he perform like he did? I doubt so, Rooney maybe.

Mason played mainly on the right, and the right comparison right now is Mason vs Sterling/Joe Cole.

Mason as a forward, is more modern than both Rooney and Owen.
 

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Rooney and Owen are the two best teens i have ever seen play football and I include Messi on that list.
Agree. @ruskyline read this thread so you yanks can appreciate them. They were both generational talent. Saying them just superb are comical
 

In Rainbows

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Raul had 4600 minutes to get to 26 goals. Greenwood has almost half those minutes. So on a per minute basis, has a better scoring rate than Raul. Owen had 3650 minutes. Greenwood is on 2420 minutes.

So he could best those numbers if given the minutes.
 

SoCross

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Rooney could grab a game by its balls and turn it in a way very few teenagers could and I didn’t see that in Owen and nor do I see it in Greenwood yet. But increasingly when the ball does go to Greenwood, I find myself almost at the edge of my seat. A bit like the young Ronaldo.

I see Greenwood’s actual breakout season coming in two years time; pretty weird thing to say after having seen the kid score 17 goals! But think he’s still pulling it all together, he’s not as complete as a teenage Rooney yet but at this pace of development, we are in for a treat.
 

Okey

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Tough comparison, seeing how all 3 are so very different. Another thing is, Rooney and Owen developed in the unusual way for the average football star.

Most start as exciting potentials then develop into the finished product that their teens suggested. A continuous upward trajectory till they near the natural decline before retirement. Rooney and Owen were too good too early. No surprise they didn't finish that way. If they did, they'd be in the same conversation with Lionel Messi.

Greenwood looks like he's taking the more natural/usual arc. And if he indeed continues to develop, we have something very special on our hands. Like someone said, he could surpass Rooney's numbers if he stays with us long enough.
 
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It turned out they were both closer to the finished product. Don't know how greenwood will end up
 

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To be honest, until Greenwood plays through the middle as a bona fide starter, it's impossible to rate him against any player who had all the pressure, attention and hopes on them.

Owen was the main man/boy for club and country almost straight out the gate. Rooney had far more than that as he was immediately being compared to the greatest English player of all time and was expected, on talent alone, to become the de facto best player England had ever seen, which is obviously a different stratosphere to the other two.

Greenwood is, it's pretty clear, a few years off maturation. He's a devastating peripheral entity at the moment who doesn't have it in him as of yet to impose his will on a game or be ever-present in it, which is the key difference between he and either Owen or Rooney when they came to prominence. There wasn't a defender or backline on the planet you didn't fancy Owen against. Rooney's nemesis as a teen was his temperament and emotions, not the defenders or plans put in place to stop him. In other words, absolutely irrespective of the opposition, stage or tactical plans, both Owen and Rooney hit heights where they were the best forwards on the pitch, outright with no decoys or subterfuge. Greenwood isn't there yet and has a long way, as of now, to reach those heights.

Owen was not just about pace, and if he is being presented that way it would be disingenuous. What Owen had was breathtaking speed, for sure, but also a level of cunning, composure and instinct in and around the box that made him lethal. Dinked lobs over keepers; headers at the near post after cutting across his marker due to his positioning; one-touch finishing and just a clarity of purpose and understanding of what to do and when to do it as and when the opportunity arose. His pace was supplemental (an understatement) but it was just one part of the package that made him one of the hottest strikers on the planet in his pre-injury days. He was a line-leading, superstar striker as early as his managers would allow with next to no protection or ushering into the men's game because he instinctively knew what to do and played with such guile and elusive tendencies that he didn't have to worry about getting smashed etc. A Michael Owen who stayed injury free would've got to Greaves' status, imo.

Greenwood has the kind of talent and longstanding ability where practically everyone is tipping him to be a world class player in a year or two. He also clearly has an upward trajectory that tells you, injuries and focus permitting, we've not seen anything like the player he will become other than knowing it'll be a forward with sublime striking technique. Greenwood is the type of player it won't be a revelation to state he can surpass Owen's best in the next 5 years. With regard to Rooney, I'm not so sure as he was given absolutely everything to be the best English player of all time and even for people who believe he failed to live up to his potential, the fact he is England and United's standalone top scorer despite not being an outright #9 tells you the levels he operated on. If Greenwood can hit those heights, he's in the conversation with Charlton, Greaves, Finney, Matthews, Edwards, Rooney et al as the best of the best a nation has ever had to offer. Can't say he is default for that kind of categorisation like Rooney was straight out of the gate, which is no slight on Greenwood as Rooney is an outlier in that sense to which I've never seen any other English talent immediately thrust into that level of regard before or since.

The tl: dr of this is, as far as talent goes:

1. Rooney
2. Owen=Greenwood

World impact to date of Greenwood's current age:

1. Rooney - star of an international tournament up to the point of injury.

2. Owen - world prominence on the grandest stage there is. Absolutely lethal as a teenager.

3. Greenwood - clearly an elite talent, but still peripheral in a number of games.

Potential:

1. Rooney - the only English talent compared to Charlton and Di Stefano and noted as White Pelé in part for a bit of a giggle, but also because of how overarching his skillset was.

2. Owen =/= Greenwood - Owen's pre-injury path and ability was exceptional. Greenwood has it in him to be one of the players of his generation. Ask again in 36 months and it'll be evident whether we're looking at a player for this era, or just outright one of the greatest of all time.
 

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Rooney was almost as good at 19 as he was at 25. He improved his goalscoring ability over the years, but the rest of his game was just incredibly complete at a very young age. Greenwood, as good a goalscorer as he is, is nowhere near that right now.
 

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The real Pelé probably deserves a comparison in this thread. Bossed and won Brazil a World Cup around age 18, right?

Greenwood is also played on the wing. That might be an unfair advantage for Rooney/Owen?
 

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This thread sort of links with my concern about Greenwood getting minutes only from RW.

When you think about it, Masons numbers are right up there with the best teenagers we’ve ever seen in this league. Owen and Rooney got to play in their preferred position, so why doesn’t Mason?

I’m as worried as anybody about messing with the team balance etc but this kids development will not wait for it to be convenient for us, he has broken through now and none of us know how detrimental it may be to his progression to make him play RW for a few years.

Does anybody else share this concern? I’m just worried that this kid shows signs of being an Elite level no 9 and his numbers dictate that he should be playing and more importantly learning his trade in what will ultimately be his position.

In answer to the OP, Rooney, he was physically knocking grown men over and tearing up games for fun at the same age, he was a freak.
 

EwanI Ted

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This thread sort of links with my concern about Greenwood getting minutes only from RW.

When you think about it, Masons numbers are right up there with the best teenagers we’ve ever seen in this league. Owen and Rooney got to play in their preferred position, so why doesn’t Mason?

I’m as worried as anybody about messing with the team balance etc but this kids development will not wait for it to be convenient for us, he has broken through now and none of us know how detrimental it may be to his progression to make him play RW for a few years.

Does anybody else share this concern? I’m just worried that this kid shows signs of being an Elite level no 9 and his numbers dictate that he should be playing and more importantly learning his trade in what will ultimately be his position.

In answer to the OP, Rooney, he was physically knocking grown men over and tearing up games for fun at the same age, he was a freak.
I dont expect Greenwood to stay on the RW. Its just that we had a hole in our team there last season. I expect he'll alternate between RW and CF next year. Anyway, modern attackers increasingly play in multiple positions on the front line, to accommodate different formations, I think its good for his formation to develop in that way.
 

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Greenwood looks the best finisher of the three at 18, that I'm convinced of.

Owen had a great career, however, I don't think many fans really believe he was truly a standout player on the world stage in his 20s. Injuries seemed to relegate him from top few in the world tier to the 'very, very good' tier.

Rooney was probably the 3rd best player in the world for a period between 2006-2010, in terms of goal-scoring but also his all-round contribution to the team. I don't think people who saw him live, week-in, week out during that period will quite realise just how dynamic he was when they look back. He was strong as an ox and absolutely lightning quick with it.
 

Lentwood

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This thread sort of links with my concern about Greenwood getting minutes only from RW.

When you think about it, Masons numbers are right up there with the best teenagers we’ve ever seen in this league. Owen and Rooney got to play in their preferred position, so why doesn’t Mason?

I’m as worried as anybody about messing with the team balance etc but this kids development will not wait for it to be convenient for us, he has broken through now and none of us know how detrimental it may be to his progression to make him play RW for a few years.

Does anybody else share this concern? I’m just worried that this kid shows signs of being an Elite level no 9 and his numbers dictate that he should be playing and more importantly learning his trade in what will ultimately be his position.

In answer to the OP, Rooney, he was physically knocking grown men over and tearing up games for fun at the same age, he was a freak.
Why the rush to play Greenwood through the centre? In the old days, everybody that played as a 'striker' was just categorised as 'centre forward', but how true was that really? Ronaldo never played through the middle the year he scored 42 goals. Henry took up a position you would now call AML/inside forward in the modern game and that never hurt him either!

Players like Shearer and Kane have the physique to play that position and it suits their strengths. I don't think you want Greenwood as the focal point, having to battle CBs and receive/lay the ball off deep. I would much prefer him picking up the ball wide and driving into the penalty area, with his ability to go both ways. Think about how he has scored his goals this season. Most have come that way. I can only really think of Sheff Utd where he was occupying a 'traditional striker's' position
 

Jev

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I can't speak for Owen as I was too young to follow him as a teenager. But Rooney was better than Greenwood at 18, by some distance. He did more than score and instantly became one of the most influential players in a stronger United side that was challenging for titles. I'm as excited about Greenwood as anyone but Rooney was a once-in-a-decade talent who, with a bit more luck and determination, would have become a legend of the game.
 

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Owen was scary as an 17-18 year old. Obviously limited and very predictable, but you're fecked if you were trying to stop him. He had that sort of gravity and magnetism that you just couldn't help but notice. It's a shame his career petered out the way it did. His development was ultimately derailed by Houllier playing him so often at a young age, which was then compounded by that ill-thought out move to Madrid, and the subsequent feck-up move to Newcastle. Owen under a Fergie would have probably broken Charlton's record and would have been out of sight beyond Rooney.

Greenwood isn't anywhere near as electric as Owen was, but is more refined. He's more refined than Rooney as well.

That ankle knock and subsequent rushed return against Bayern in 2010 genuinely robbed Rooney of his ultimate prime, as well as his career-defining season. A genuine shame, but he still had an amazing career. However, he could, and perhaps should, have been the 3rd element of the GOAT trifecta between Messi, Ronaldo and himself...

EDIT - On Greenwood, I think he'll surpass Owen, and it'll be dependent on how we progress as a team on whether he gets past Rooney as well. Think Rashford is a dark horse in these sort of debates as well, like Ronnie was in that 04-06 era.
 

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Rooney was more than just a goal scorer, he was such a complete player. His allround game was brilliant.

There is something very special about Greenwood, the way he strikes the ball so cleanly and the quick change in direction is just so good. He will score lot of goals and if he isn't injured and stays at Manutd all his career, he will break Rooney's record.

If we have to compare them at same age, I would select Rooney for my team.

I didn't watch Owen during his early years.
I agree. I think that with Greenwood his finishing is already at a Top/World Class level but his all round game needs a lot of improvement to keep up with that attribute but he clearly has the talent to do so.

People use hyperbole a lot when youngsters come onto the scene and one of the regular lines that is said is “he’s 18 but playing like a 25 year old” etc. You could say that about Rooney but it was actually true. He was already the finished article at 18 in terms of his all round play.
 

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Rooney was the complete footballer. He can do everything. He can even play in goal. He also sacrificed himself for the team.
 

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The real Pelé probably deserves a comparison in this thread. Bossed and won Brazil a World Cup around age 18, right?

Greenwood is also played on the wing. That might be an unfair advantage for Rooney/Owen?
Pele was 17 at the 1958 finals - scored one in the quarters, three in the semis and two in the final.

Rooney wasn't a striker until the 09-10 season - until then he was a force of nature all over the pitch.
 

AltiUn

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What gives me the most hope for Greenwood is that unlike Owen and Rooney, he doesn't yet have the outstanding physical qualities they both had as teenagers and he's still looking pretty special, when he catches up to adult physicality then I think we'll see him in a league of his own.
 

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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?

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?
Interesting question.

I think what made Owen and Rooney stand out is they had particular strengths that made it hard to ignore. For Owen it was his pace, for Rooney his power.

When Owen was in a position to run onto a through ball it was genuinely frightening. Almost as frightening as when he leapt into the air and stamped his whole weight down on Schmeichel's shin. When you were playing against Owen you knew you could not leave any space in behind cos he was so hard to stop once he broke the offside trap.

With Rooney it was like watching a raging bull. He had so much physical presence so young that he could contest every ball with anybody. It was remarkable to see a kid so young buffeting up against Sol Campbell or Jamie Carragher. He had such an appetite for it. When he built up a head of steam you felt like he could run through any challenge. It left you with a sense of anticipation any time he got the ball. A bit like when Jonah Lomu played in the 1995 Rugby World Cup. I was always thinking how do they stop him? He's so strong. Plus the young Wayne played angry. He calmed down a lot as he aged. However, as a kid he was always right on the edge. I remember that volley against Newcastle. He'd be swearing to himself in the minutes leading up to it looking like he was about to deck someone, then the ball dropped to him and he just put his foot through it and unleashed all his anger. Watching Rooney back then made me laugh. I never knew if he was going to destroy the opposition's defenders or the advertising boards. :lol:

Greenwood does not have that physical characteristic that makes him stand out in the same way as Owen or Rooney, so sometimes he can seem like he's a bit quiet in games. However, Greenwood's defining characteristic is finishing. The kid is lethal within anywhere of 20-30m of goal. He only needs the slightest of space to get a shot off and he can absolutely wallop it in. The way he shoots with almost no back lift reminds me a little bit of Adriano before his downward spiral. Opposing defenders simply can't afford to give him any room to shoot. It must be so scary. I struggle to remember that many strikers who hit the ball so cleanly off of either foot.

If you forced me to pick one, I'd pick Rooney. You could set up to minimise the space to Owen and cut off the supply. To some extent you can still do the same to Mason. Rooney could power his way through a team and belt one in from range. He was such a specimen. That's not to say Mason won't surpass both. If he transforms his physique in the same way Ronaldo did it will be tough to stop him.
 

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Rooney. It's not particularly close.

Owen was phenomenal but it was mostly because of his pace, you knew without it he wouldn't be half the player. Greenwood is around that kind of level. He's a fantastic talent, a better all rounder than Owen and without a standout attribute, but hes not Rooney.

As a youngster Rooney could do everything, and he could dominate a game at 18 as easily as the best and most experienced in the world.
 

MrSingh2002

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I think Greenwood can be at the level of Van Persie/Benzema/Aguero and have similar careers in terms of performances, if he continues to have the right attitude and work on his game.

I don't feel he has the physical attributes to be at the very top, such as the level that R9 or Mbappe reached because of their speed and power coupled with skill.

When he moves into his centre forward position it should help him to use his instincts and finishing more. I think he's a modern centre forward or the 9 and 1/2 that doesn't rely on physical strength.
 

Jam

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Harder to compare bare numbers since two of them were primarily at #9 and all three have different styles.

In general though I’d say Rooney was the best of the three at the age; he was just a total package. He was dominating seasoned 30 year olds regularly.

I think Greenwood has a bit more to him than Owen, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves after one season.

Based on what we’ve seen and what we can see happening at these ages Rooney > Greenwood > Owen, but based in reality purely for the fact Owen did it across multiple seasons at that age (which Greenwood hasn’t had the opportunity to do yet) Rooney > Owen > Greenwood.

Ask again next season.
 

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Rooney was by far the best of the three. Like the truly phenomenal players he played outside of the rhythms of the match. He could do whatever he wanted at any time. He just lacked that killer instinct that Messi and Ronaldo had. I also think that his drinking and I'd argue his self-destructive and depressive mentality held him back.
 
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Nope, he lacks the explosiveness and physical maturity to expect him to make an impact on every game he plays at this point. Rooney's all round game was amazing and Owen was so quick and had great close control that when he was 1v1 with a central defender it felt like a 1v1 with the keeper.
 

RooneyLegend

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I see Greenwood somewhere in between the two in terms of style - his finishing is better than Rooney but not as good as Owen in breakthrough seasons. Whereas his all round game is superior to Owen but not Rooney level.

It still remains to be seen what Greenwood's best position is, with Owen is was always clear but not so much with Rooney

Rooney had a slight advantage of starting at Everton, not as much pressure or expectation as you get at United or Liverpool. But of course, he made the switch up in level while still young.

So far it's just 1 season though so can't get ahead of ourselves - Ole has managed Greenwood well this year and it was a freehit for him, next year the expectation level is going to be higher.
Greenwood is a better finisher than Owen. He scores goals Owen could only dream of.