Mason Greenwood has been treated unfairly after he breached coronavirus regulations and should be judged on his football ability, says Andy Cole.
Greenwood scored 17 goals in a superb breakout campaign in 2019-20, earning him a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
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But he has struggled to replicate that form at the start of this season and was left out of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad for the 3-1 win at Everton on Saturday.
The teenager was roundly criticised for breaking coronavirus protocols with Phil Foden in September and has been out of sorts since, with his attitude at United also called into question.
And Cole doesn’t believe much of the criticism is just and has urged the media to get off his back to allow him to focus on his football.
“He’s a star in the making. If he gets his head right then he’s definitely a star in the making. One hundred per cent,” the United legend told The Daily Mirror.
“I’m hoping he will come through this. What’s really upset me through this situation is I’m not sure why everyone keeps hounding him the way they do.
“He’s a baby. If you don’t make mistakes when you’re a baby, when do you make your mistakes? In your 50s? He’s a boy and he’s made mistakes, he’s held his hands up, let him go out there and play his football.
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“Now judge him on his football because if we’re judging him as an 18-year-old boy against what the average 18-year-old gets up to then we’ll see what they all get up to.
“Judge him on his ability, he’s made a mistake and apologised and now, please, just let him play his football now. They’ve left Foden alone, but let’s continue to hammer Greenwood. It’s just not right.
“He’s got so much to his game, he can go both sides, he can score goals and do everything. I’m sure that he can come through this.”
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