Mason Greenwood: What’s next for the 21-year-old Manchester United forward? | Main Stand

On Thursday, Greater Manchester Police announced criminal charges against Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood have been discontinued.


The forward was charged with attempted rape, engaging in controlling and coercive behavior and assault occasioning bodily harm in January 2022, with the allegations relating to one woman.

However, on Thursday, Micheala Kerr, GMP’s Head of Public Protection, told local reporters: “Given the significant media coverage of the case, it's only fair that we share the news that the 21-year-old man, who had been arrested and charged in connection with an investigation opened in January 2022, no longer faces criminal proceedings in relation to this.” 

Hence here on Main Stand with Agastya Bajaj, we investigate what’s next for Mason Greenwood and his potential return to Manchester United.


The latest from all parties 

Following the Crown Prosecution Service’s statement which revealed it had a “duty to stop the case” after the “withdrawal of key witnesses and new material came to light” the 21-year-old forward released a brief public statement.

“I am relieved that this matter is now over and I would like to thank my family, loved ones and friends for their support,” said Mason Greenwood. “There will be no further comments at this time.”

Similarly, Manchester United also published an official statement on their social platforms, stating, “The club will now conduct its own process before determining next steps. We will not make any further comment until that process is complete.”

Red Devils manager Erik ten Hag echoed this statement in his press conference on Friday morning: “I can’t give a comment about the process. I can’t say anything about it. I refer to the statement of the club.”

The club have currently not set a timeline for how long their “own process” will take. 

The club’s CEO, Richard Arnold, intends on conducting a thorough internal investigation before jumping to any conclusions.


Insider information

Multiple sources indicate a split in the United dressing room regarding the player's potential return.

According to reporter Jamie Jackson, “A substantial proportion of Man United’s workforce would be deeply unhappy if Mason Greenwood played for the club again, but others feel a duty of care toward the player.”

Akin to the sentiment of footballing fans around the globe, after the jarring pieces of public evidence, some feel it would be a moral injustice to reinstate Greenwood into the squad, while others feel the player should be brought back with charges dropped. 

It’s worth understanding that “charges discontinued” means a criminal charge has been officially dropped (due to insufficient evidence) or terminated by the prosecuting authority.

This does not necessarily mean the player is innocent, but rather, in accordance with the UK judicial system.

The club will carefully examine whether Greenwood is bereft of charges while assessing the disposition of the squad and fanbase before making a final decision.

Greenwood will not participate in any media or training sessions during this process, with the player still suspended until further notice.

The 21-year-old’s return to the team may primarily hinge on the outcome of United's internal investigation, but ten Hag must also carefully consider the situation from a sporting standpoint.

While the player is widely regarded as a generational talent, his baggage may undermine the harmony ten Hag has fostered in the dressing room.

With the Dutch manager successfully instilling the values of accountability, commitment and his philosophy, would Greenwood disrupt confidence in the manager amongst the fanbase and squad?

Especially after stamping his authority on the entire club and making several successful key decisions, would reinstating Greenwood wane his authority, devalue the harmony and the need to demonstrate responsibility within the dressing room?

After all, Mason Greenwood may be young, but this isn’t the first time he was involved in a scandal like this. 


What’s next? 

There are many questions that need to be answered from a social and sporting lens before Greenwood can return to the club. 

There is no timeframe for United’s internal investigation, but even if Greenwood passes these rigid parameters, Red Devils supporters shouldn’t expect the player to feature before next season.

Although the player netted 32 goals and displayed world-class finishing in his short stint as a teenager, after being on bail and in jail over the past year, his complete lack of match fitness would mean he is unavailable for an extended, undisclosed period.

Especially with ten Hag’s history of slowly integrating new and unfit players into his squad, it is highly unlikely to envisage Greenwood returning before next season.

Regardless, it would be premature to jump to a consensus before United’s internal investigation is complete, but for the foreseeable future, Greenwood is definitely ruled out of action.





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