The controversial Mason Greenwood has made a positive start to his loan at Getafe and is very comfortable with his new adventure in the Spanish capital.
This is according to The Athletic, who have lifted the lid on Greenwood’s first few months as a La Liga player.
The piece opens with the fact that the 27th of November 2023 was supposed to be Greenwood’s trial date in the case of domestic abuse and attempted rape. However, in a whirlwind few months, charges were dropped back in early 2023, subsequently, Manchester United held a much-maligned internal investigation and eventually after an embarrassing U-turn, Greenwood was exiled to Spain.
The decision makers at the club had already decided to re-integrate the player into the squad but after leaking the information, they faced such an intense backlash from fans, charities and politicians alike, that they thought twice and decided it was for the best to send the player away on a season-long loan. Getafe were the club who took the chance on deadline day.
The Athletic state that while the player has not hit the heights of his time at United, he “has scored four goals and got three assists in 720 minutes in league and cup, including a thunderous effort from the corner of the box on Saturday against Almeria”. The forward also contributed an incredible assist for Borja Mayoral in a previous game where he dribbled past three players.
The publication also claims that Getafe don’t believe they will see the best of the Englishman until after Christmas as he builds up fitness and form. The England international last played for Manchester United on the 22nd of January 2022 and had not played a first team game until September 2023.
The outlet states that while Greenwood is considered shy and even an introvert, he is slowly adapting to the jokes and banter of his new Spanish and South American teammates. His new club, Getafe, were insistent that the player took Spanish lessons, so he is now doing that.
The article goes on to state that, “on a personal level, he is happy in Madrid with his partner and daughter, as well as with the weather, food and house they have. There has been relatively little media pressure”. Compare this to the firestorm of media pressure he would be facing in the United Kingdom if he were back at United or another English club. The player has even felt able to get back to using social media, something unthinkable in the summer.
Greenwood himself is also incredibly popular with the local fans. His arrival at the club was met with celebration, where fans screamed every time he touched the ball in his first training session, which was intentionally made open to the public. In fact, “at Getafe’s 16,500-capacity Estadio Coliseum home, fans of all ages are regularly seen wearing his shirt”.
The Madrid-based outfit are delighted with him and plan to talk to United in April to work out a deal to make the arrangement permanent. However, as expected, Greenwood has faced abuse from fans of other teams including Osasuna and Athletic Bilbao, where supporters have greeted him with “whistles and shouts of, Greenwood, die!”. However, it does seem quite tepid in comparison to the torrent of abuse he would be experiencing at every stadium in England, most likely by large sections of Old Trafford too.
Manchester United for their part, continue to follow the 22-year-old striker’s progress with interest. They watch his games remotely on video and even sent a support team to help the player to settle into new life in the Iberian country.
There is the other fascinating factor of what soon-to-be new part owners of the club, INEOS, decide to do. Once they assume control of football operations it will be their problem. The Athletic argues that their decision will boil down to two choices, reintegrate the player back into the first team after his loan ends or sell him. The player’s deal ends in 2025 and the Mancunian club have the option to extend it for a year to protect his value. This may draw many unwanted questions, however.
If United even give a whiff that there is a possibility of Greenwood returning it will most likely be met with the same fierce opposition the idea received back in the summer. The confusion comes from the statement the club gave back in August.
After their U-turn, United’s statement said there are “difficulties” with Greenwood “recommencing his career” at the club and that it “would be most appropriate for him to do so away from Old Trafford”.
However, that same statement exonerated Greenwood of any guilt, saying, “We have concluded… Mason did not commit the offences in respect of which he was originally charged”, and the club did not completely rule out a return.
Nonetheless, the publication finishes with the opinion that it is expected that the Old Trafford outfit will try to sell the player once his loan at Getafe ends.
While United may be tempted to bring back the player if his form continues to improve in Spain and their own players continue to struggle, it is seemingly unlikely INEOS will want the headache. The new part-owners already have an almighty task on their hands to try and win over fans exhausted and sceptical from years of Glazer malaise. Bringing Greenwood back is not likely a good way to start.