Youngsters justifying the faith of top Premier League teams

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Manchester United's Mason Greenwood celebrates after scoring a goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Bournemouth at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, Saturday, July 4, 2020. (Peter Powell/Pool via AP)

Some of the top Premier League teams are putting their faith in youth in the high-stakes finale to the longest-ever soccer season in England.

Two 18-year-old English players justified that backing on Saturday.

On a day of more twists in the race for Champions League qualification, Mason Greenwood showed why he has been labeled the best finisher at Manchester United with stunning goals off either foot to help his team out of some early trouble and to a 5-2 win over Bournemouth at an empty Old Trafford.

“If he shoots, he will score,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said of Greenwood, who has 15 goals in all competitions in his breakthrough season.

Arsenal midfielder Bukayo Saka is another teenage academy product bursting onto the scene this season and his first Premier League goal set Arsenal on its way to a 2-0 win at Wolverhampton, which lost ground in the fight for a top-five finish.

Left back, left wing, central midfield. The versatile Saka has been deployed in a number of positions by Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and it doesn’t faze him.

“Wherever the boss wants to put me, I want to play,” said Saka, who signed a long-term deal with Arsenal on Wednesday.

The latest impressive displays by Greenwood and Saka came two days after Phil Foden, a 20-year-old Englishman, played a starring role for Manchester City in its 4-0 win over newly crowned champion Liverpool.