Gareth Southgate picks out Mason Greenwood's 'rare and remarkable' talents

England manager Gareth Southgate has hailed Mason Greenwood’s maturity and ability with both feet as remarkable and rare talents as he prepares to give the striker his international debut.

Greenwood is likely to feature for England on Saturday evening as they take on Iceland in the UEFA Nations League, making his debut for the Three Lions after his thoroughly impressive end to the season with Manchester United.

The 18-year-old earned himself a regular place in the Red Devils starting XI and finished the season with 17 goals in all competitions, 10 of which came in the Premier League.

His fine form has seen him called up to the England senior squad a month before his 19th birthday and Southgate can barely hide his excitement over the lethal teenager.

The England manager believes his calm temperament and ability to finish with both feet are the United star’s standout talents.

‘With him, there’s genuinely… the quality of finishing, the way he’s got this icy cold stare, very calm disposition generally which I think is clear when he’s in and around the penalty box and for somebody of his age, that’s remarkable maturity,’ said Southgate.

‘And I have to say it is really rare to see a player as comfortable with both feet, not just in terms of the ability to receive and pass but finishing with both feet.

‘I had to ask whether he was right or left footed. I feel slightly embarrassed, you’ve picked a player for England and you’re not sure which foot he kicks the ball with!’

England captain Harry Kane has also praised the teenager for his range of finishing skills.

‘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.’

England take on Iceland at 5pm on Saturday before facing Denmark on Tuesday evening in their first contests since last November when they secured a 4-0 win over Kosovo in the European Championship qualifiers.

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