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Sports News

Man Utd's Solskjaer criticises England over handling of youngster Greenwood

(Reuters) - Manchester United striker Mason Greenwood’s first England call-up ended with him being disciplined for breaking COVID-19 rules but club manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Friday the 18-year-old should not have been part of the squad.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Euro Under 21 Qualifier - England Under 21 Training - St. George's Park, Burton upon Trent, Britain - November 11, 2019 England's Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood during training Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine /File Photo

Video footage this month showed Greenwood and Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden allegedly inviting women to their hotel rooms after England’s 1-0 Nations League win over Iceland in Reykjavik and both players were sent home.

England boss Gareth Southgate said the duo would have to regain his trust before they can be considered for selection again but Solskjaer stressed that Greenwood should have been rested after his breakthrough season with the club.

“I’ve spoken to Mason, what we speak about and discuss will be between the two of us,” Solskjaer told reporters ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash against Crystal Palace.

“The kid had a fantastic season, just come through. I’ve worked and the club worked hard, we gave Mason enough time on the pitch, exposure in the media.

“Then you come to the end of the season, we’ve had less than two weeks off and he’s called up.

“And first thing that happens he’s called up and right there in the press... we’ve done what we can to protect him, I’ve done what I can to help him. When he comes back into the daily routine, he’ll be fine.”

United’s off-season was also disrupted by captain Harry Maguire’s suspended prison sentence of 21 months and 10 days after being accused of various charges following an alleged brawl during a family holiday on the island of Mykonos.

The 27-year-old England defender has maintained his innocence and was granted a full retrial after appealing against the verdict.

Solskjaer, however, said that the incident could be on Maguire’s mind as he returns to the pitch.

“Knowing Harry, he’s a very strong character and can put that apart, but as a human being it’ll be in the back of his mind,” Solskjaer added.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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