Greenwood scored United’s opening goal in Thursday night’s 3-0 win over Partizan Belgrade, which secured progression to the Europa League knockout stages.
The 18-year-old has three goals in four starts for United this season and may have expected more opportunities given an injury to Anthony Martial and Solskjaer’s lack of attacking options.
But instead, Greenwood recently found himself bumped down to the Under-23s for an EFL Trophy tie with Doncaster Rovers. He responded by scoring a 90th-minute winner at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Solskjaer warned against rushing Greenwood into the first team on Thursday night and believes that slow and steady is the right approach to take towards the youngster’s development.
“Mason is going to have a very big career, but sometimes it is not the right time to play him,” Solskjaer said. “He knows why he hasn’t played as much.
“We’re taking our time with him. Anthony has been away, to put all the weight on his shoulder wasn’t right either.
“I think we are finding the right balance between playing him, resting him and training him. He needs to learn the man’s game.
“He’s gone up from the under 18s last year, now he’s training with the first team every day and you can’t just turn that switch on and off.
“You’ve got to perform every day if you are going to be accepted by a group like this.”
Solskjaer added: “If he’d really stamped his authority in training every single day and been the best option he would have played every game, but as a young boy you expect ups and downs and he’s had some downs. But I think he is on his way up again.”
“You always get assessed on results now. But the DNA of this club – and it’s always been in our philosophy and my philosophy to give young players with the right attitude a chance.
“If that takes a couple of years for him to really, really come through, it’s worth it for us. I’m managing for Man United, I’m not managing for me. I managing for the best way I think we can get the best out of Mason.”
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