Mason Greenwood: His Redemptive Journey at Manchester United and How He Could Fit Into Erik ten Hag’s Plans

Mason Greenwood: His Redemptive Journey at Manchester United and How He Could Fit Into Erik ten Hag’s Plans

  • Mason Greenwood faces a new tough predicament after his sexual assault charges were dropped
  • Manchester United are yet to decide whether the striker will resume with them in light of the new developments
  • Greenwood's journey to redemption within the public eye is set to be a tedious one

The name star boy is often misused nowadays but take it from us, Mason Greenwood was one. His precision and awareness in front of goal was beyond his years.

So much so that he was christened Robin Van Persie. For fans and pundits to compare you with the legendary Dutchman, then there is something you are doing right.

Mason Greenwood, Manchester United, Erik ten Hag
Mason Greenwood during a past game for Manchester United. Photo by Laurence Griffiths.
Source: Getty Images

Everything was going right in his career. He had already nailed his place in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's starting eleven. Not only was he playing regularly but also came up with important goals for the Red Devils.

Greenwood's precision and strengths

Take for example the one he scored against Everton in the 2019/2020 season. He received the ball on the edge of the penalty area before squeezing in a shot between three defenders and Jordan Pickford. His main strength is to unleash ferocious shots with both his feet. Such strikers are the hardest to play against, you never know which foot he will use.

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All this changed when he was accused and arrested for sexual assault. He was immediately suspended by the club pending investigations. The career of a young player who had shown much promise all of a sudden became dim.

However, the Crown Prosecution Services dropped all charges against him on February 2nd. Sports Brief reported that Greenwood released a statement saying he was 'relieved' it was all over.

Redemption for Greenwood

What next for the 21-year-old? He is still on Manchester United's roster with the club promising to provide a way soon. If given another opportunity at Old Trafford to revitalize his career, here is why we think it will be a long way back for him.

This is a story of 'ifs.' Big 'ifs' for that matter.

A quick glance on social media after his charges were dropped showed that a majority of users were disgusted by the turn of events. Greenwood might not have a case to answer before the law courts anymore, but the court of public opinion is yet to clear him of his 'wrongdoings.'

In an industry where fans are major stakeholders, Greenwood will find the going tough playing in packed stadia. If Kurt Zouma was repeatedly booed for kicking his cat (not that animals are any lesser), you can imagine the kind of reception Greenwood will receive.

But let's assume he overcomes the reception hurdle, and that's a big if, will Erik ten Hag be ready to accommodate him? Or will he have to find another club?

Ten Hag's reign at Old Trafford

Ten Hag has established his authoritative nature to good effect at Carrington Training Complex. It is either his way or his way. Doesn't matter if your name is Cristiano Ronaldo. Greenwood coming back could pose problems for squad harmony. Will his teammates be ready to welcome him back? Can the leading figures in the United squad, Bruno Fernandes, David de Gea and co, Marshall the rest of the team to overlook Greenwood's alleged transgressions?

Even if the club decides to welcome him back, that would be the least of his concerns. He will need to rebuild the trust of his teammates. He will need them more than ever to reassure him that he can rediscover his old self. His talent and ability to score goals won't be enough to cut it, he will need to go overboard and beyond to convince everyone that he deserves a second chance.

Greenwood's talents

And if he overcomes the first two ifs, what do Manchester United stand to gain? For a player who hasn't had a proper training session for more than a year, it will take time to get him back to speed.

But if he eventually gets back to shape, ten Hag could have a striker on his hands. United's creativity is not in question and the Greenwood we used to know would gleefully take the chances created. His ability to play as a number 9 or from the left wing will provide ten Hag with a lot of choices.

"We can be redeemed only to the extent to which we see ourselves," - Martin Buber.

For Greenwood, the onus will be on him to turn things around. Cause at 21, he still has good years ahead of him.

But again, only if he wants to come back. Only if Manchester United wanted him back. Only if Erik ten Hag can help him out. This is the story of 'ifs.'