At the tender age of 21, the transfer of Mason Greenwood has become the talk of the footballing fraternity― but for all the wrong reasons. While his peers are focused on improving their abilities and climbing the ladder of world football, the English forward is making headlines by virtue of his struggle to give his career any concrete sense of direction. The decision of Manchester United, Greenwood’s boyhood team since the age of six, to let go of him rang the death knell for the player.
For context, In January 2022, Mason Greenwood was suspended by Manchester United and the England national football team (for whom he played a solitary match) after a controversy arose over some distressing content related to the player that surfaced on social media platforms. The images and audio clips irked the Crown Prosecution Services to bring charges of attempted rape, assault and controlling and coercive behaviour against the Englishman.
While the CPS dropped all their charges against Mason Greenwood in February 2023, owing to the withdrawal of key witnesses from the case, his current team, Manchester United, opened an internal probe against the player. The idea was to see if Greenwood could be absolved of all the charges before he could be inducted into the club’s squad again.
However, the Manchester-based outfit released a statement on Monday, August 21, saying that both the club and the player have mutually agreed to part ways. “All those involved, including Mason, recognise the difficulties with him recommencing his career at Manchester United. It has therefore been mutually agreed that it would be most appropriate for him to do so away from Old Trafford, and we will work with Mason to achieve that outcome,” the statement read.
The statement from the club came on the back of severe backlash from its supporters after it was speculated that the English forward might rejoin the Manchester United squad. Mason Greenwood has become a hot potato who is likely to find it difficult to win back the support of his fans. Unfortunately for Greenwood, they are not the only group of people whose confidence he has lost due to this infamous episode. Almost every major club in Europe, much akin to Manchester United, seems to be maintaining their distance from the player. As such, the pertinent question many football fans may have on their minds is simple – Which club can Mason Greenwood take a transfer to?
Well, we try to answer that question while attempting to decode the potential new destinations for Mason Greenwood to transfer to in a bid to jump-start his career again.
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A move to the Saudi Pro League
The story of the summer transfer window of 2023-24 will forever be headlined by the massive recruitment drive that the clubs from the Middle East have been on. The splurging of hundreds of millions of dollars by the Public Investment Fund in the football league included the purchase of four clubs, namely Al-Ahil, Al-Hilal, Al-Ittihad and Al-Nassr. As it happens, these four clubs have been the most active in signing the top football players from across the globe, mostly from European clubs. Cristiano Ronaldo paved the way for his contemporaries to follow suit when he joined Al-Nassr in January 2023. With the conclusion of the 2022-23 football season, star players like Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Sadio Mane, Ruben Neves, Roberto Firmino and Neymar Jr also made their way to the ‘Land of Black Gold’.
While it’s a potential destination for Mason Greenwood to resurrect his football career, his transfer to a Saudi Pro League club might not materialise. Transfers in the Saudi Arabian league work differently― it is the league that does all the negotiation with the player’s present club before assigning a final team to the player. It has been speculated that the Saudi Pro League wants to steer clear of any controversy involving the English forward. Adding further fuel to the fire, Steven Gerrard, the newly appointed manager of Al-Ettifaq, has categorically dismissed rumours of Greenwood joining the club.
Nevertheless, as a move to Saudi Arabia cannot be completely ruled out, it remains to be seen if the Middle East will consider opening its doors for the 21-year-old before the transfer window closes on August 31.
Joining a club from Major League Soccer
The Major League Soccer has been in the news in the ongoing 2023-24 summer transfer window because of the signing of Argentine legend and one of the greatest footballers of all time, Lionel Messi, by Inter Miami. The club, owned by fellow legend and former English footballer David Beckham, is producing one impressive performance after the other as the talismanic forward is taking the United States of America by storm. As such, the inclusion of a player from Europe with great potential, such as Mason Greenwood, will only increase the level of competition and uplift the league to higher standards.
Having said that, concerns regarding Mason Greenwood’s public image cannot be discounted altogether. The way English football ran into heavy firing from its supporters amid speculation over the player’s return to the football pitch might concern the Major League Soccer’s bosses as well and their fears would not be unfounded. With the arrival of Lionel Messi and all the buzz around him, MLS, at the moment, is making morning headlines for all the right reasons. The involvement of a controversial figure like Mason Greenwood might flip that positive narrative on its head and even tarnish the league’s image.
However, the designated player system in the MLS, which allows a club to have up to three players without salary implications, might make the prospect of signing a talent as exciting as Greenwood too lucrative to ignore. The USD 95,000-100,000-per-week salary of the Englishman at Manchester United is affordable for American clubs, so it remains to be seen if Mason Greenwood receives any call from stateside.
Moving to Italy
Italy and Serie A share a long history with Mason Greenwood. The English forward was approached by Juventus to join their ranks at the young age of 17, and given that it was just a few days after he joined the first team of Manchester United, the transfer would have been huge. However, United rejected the offer made by the Turin-based club
While there were speculations about Mason Greenwood joining Atalanta BC in the 2023-24 summer transfer window as the club was seeking a replacement for Rasmus Hojlund, the signing of the Danish forward by Manchester United without any player swap put all rumours to rest. AS Roma, managed by Jose Mourinho, has reportedly shown interest in signing the English forward. The Portuguese coach has previously worked with Greenwood during his time at Manchester United.
Although the controversy around Mason Greenwood creates an air of uncertainty around him, a move to Serie A, the highest division of football in Italy, cannot be ruled out altogether. Given that Tammy Abraham is likely to remain out of action for the majority of the 2023-24 season, the AS Roma boss might consider bringing in the English forward player to his side.
Heading for Turkey
The lesser popularity of Super Lig, Turkey’s premier division of club football, makes this European nation the most plausible destination for Mason Greenwood among all his options. In the past, Turkey has been observed as a potential landing spot for the Englishman when a number of Super Lig clubs made loan enquiries about him in March. However, since the 21-year-old footballer was under suspension at Manchester United back then, no deal could materialise.
Now that the Manchester-based club has given some clarity of sorts on Mason Greenwood’s future (which, according to the club, will be away from Manchester), and provided that the hostile nature of the English football supporters makes it near-impossible for him to continue playing football in England at present, Turkish clubs are once again in the running for signing the prodigy.
Greenwood might benefit from a move to Turkey as well― while the Super Lig does not attract a lot of top players of the sport, especially if they are in their prime, it is still a competitive football league that paves the way for participation in major continental competitions such as the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Europa Conference League and even the UEFA Super Cup (should they win either of the first two).
Mason Greenwood has enjoyed an impressive career at Manchester United and his stats stand testament to the same. In 83 appearances for the Premier League club, he has scored 22 goals. The Super Lig might just provide Greenwood with the perfect platform to resurrect his career as he strives to start afresh and leave behind incidents from his personal life that have made him infamous.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
– Why is Mason Greenwood leaving Manchester United?
Mason Greenwood has reached a mutual understanding with Manchester United amid heavy backlash from the club’s supporters surrounding his controversy from January 2022. Greenwood has remained suspended from football action since then.
– Which club is Mason Greenwood expected to join?
While uncertainty looms large over Mason Greenwood’s future, the English player is likely to take a transfer to a Super Lig club in Turkey.
(Main and Featured Images Credits: Courtesy Instagram/@Mason Greenwood)