Mason Greenwood: A Long Walk to Redemption
The 21-year-old Manchester United winger had experienced a tumultuous rollercoaster since January 2021, when he indeed came into the limelight. He went from enjoying a promising 2020/21 Premier League season, registering seven goals and two assists in 31 games as a teenager, to being at the centre of a sexual misconduct drama involving his girlfriend. Mason Greenwood would never have imagined the drastic and unfortunate turn of events.
How It Happened
In January 2022, Harriet Robson filed a case against the English superstar for attempted rape, assault, and coercive behaviours. Greenwood was arrested but released on bail on February 2, 2022, and awaited trial, scheduled for later. The news led to his immediate suspension by the football giants Manchester United and the England national team. Nike also revoked his sponsorship deal, and EA Sports removed him from the list of active squads in the FIFA 22 game.
It is worthy of note that the youngster was enjoying a smooth sail in the 2021/22 Premier League season. Having scored five goals and registered two assists in 18 games early on in the season, Greenwood was on a roll for the English giants, solidifying his place in the right-wing position ahead of other competitors in the team. But calamity struck in the middle of the season, and he has not had a professional appearance ever since.
Fans and football pundits were divided in opinions, with some outrightly calling Greenwood an offender and others claiming he was innocent until proven otherwise by the Manchester court. In October 2022, the right winger was arrested again for breaching his bail conditions and was scheduled to appear in court the same week.
Light at the End of the Tunnel?
In February earlier this year, a glimmer of hope appeared for the young superstar. All charges against him were dropped after the vital witness withdrew her statement and new evidence emerged. While the new evidence is unclear, Greenwood is now a free man in the eyes of the law.
However, few people seemed happy with the law’s decision. It was evident in the lashing ex-Manchester United captain Gary Neville received for liking Nazir Afzal’s tweet on the young player. The British solicitor, a former prosecutor within the Crown Prosecution Service, made tweets referring to Greenwood as an “innocent man” and urged his followers to desist from blaming alleged victims.
As of today, Mason Greenwood is yet to resume his career as a professional footballer, although his contract does not expire till June 2025. In an official statement, Manchester United promised to conduct its process before determining the next line of action.
Notwithstanding, things seem to be looking up for Greenwood, as he was spotted with his pregnant girlfriend at the five-star Langham Hotel in Central London. Also, there are speculations that current Manchester United gaffer Erik Ten Hag is willing to give him a lifeline at Old Trafford. Ten Hag was reportedly against selling the 21-year-old, potentially indicating space for the young superstar in his plan.
Moreover, on Saturday, an unknown source revealed that former United boss Jose Mourinho rang Greenwood to entice him with a loan move to his current team Roma. Juventus, AC Milan, and Inter Milan have also reportedly contacted The Red Devils to discuss a potential move for the young player.
While Manchester United are yet to decide his future, all indicators point to a possible resurrection of his career. Although Greenwood might not receive a hero’s welcome like the deceased South African leader Nelson Mandela, he has another shot at redemption—to carve his name in the history books as one who rose from the ruins.