The two young star players experienced a night of “dreams coming true” when they scored their first senior goals on Thursday. These are emerging young talents in football.
Manchester United and Arsenal struggled for the large parts of their respective Europa League openers. By the end, two teenagers announced themselves on the senior stage.
The 18-year-old academy graduate, Bukayo Saka scored his first senior goal and set up Arsenal’s other two. This helped the Gunners beat Eintracht Frankfurt.
Then, the 17-year-old Mason Greenwood who has come through the Manchester United ranks rescued Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side from a frustrating draw against Astana with his first goal for the club.
What are people saying about their future?
United had been kept out by Kazakh side Astana for 73 minutes on Thursday before Greenwood cleverly cut on to his right foot and finished through the goalkeeper’s legs.
The striker became United’s youngest scorer in Europe and the firstborn in 2000, to score for the club.
Greenwood made his United debut in last season’s Champions League last 16 ties against PSG featured heavily in pre-season and came off the bench in the Red’s first out Premier League games this season.
He scored 26 goals in 30 games across United’s youth, reserve and senior teams. He also made his England Under-21 debut earlier this month.
Solskjaer has said Greenwood’s progress reminds him of United legend Ryan Giggs. His fellow United striker Marcus Rashford says his natural abilities are “frightening.”
Former United and England striker also said, “I like Mason Greenwood and not just because of tonight. I have seen him many times in the youth team and he is a proper player. He could be a Man United starter for years to come.”
Saka was making his fifth senior start as part of an inexperienced Arsenal forward line along with side fellow academy graduates.
The winger set up Willock for the Arsenal’s opening goal smashed in the 85th minute and teed up Aubameyang two minutes later.
He was a threat throughout with his pace and trickery on the left flank. He teenage goal made him Arsenal’s youngest scorer in Europe since Aaron Ramsey in October 2008.
Former Arsenal defender, Martin Keown said Saka looked more impressive than the Gunner’s record signing Nicholas Pepe.
“They toiled away trying to get young players in and they have found one in Saka. You think of the way Pepe is playing at the moment and the kid looks better than him tonight.”
“Dream come true”-they said.
The Arsenal winger said, “I’m so happy to score for Arsenal. It’s a dream come true. I have been dreaming of this moment since I was a kid. I just want to keep working hard to make sure I can feel this feeling again.”