Mason Greenwood’s international career has been subject to considerable uncertainty, and recent developments have sparked the possibility that he might choose to represent Jamaica, despite his eligibility for England.
Greenwood’s club situation has recently gained some clarity, 18 months after his arrest and subsequent charge with attempted rape, engaging in controlling behaviour, and assault. Following Manchester United’s ultimate decision to part ways with the 21-year-old, his path forward has become somewhat clearer.
In February 2023, the charges against Greenwood were dropped after key witnesses withdrew and “new material” led the Crown Prosecution Service to conclude that there was no realistic prospect of conviction. Despite this, Greenwood was not officially cleared, even though he misleadingly claimed otherwise in a statement this week.
Manchester United carried out a six-month internal investigation, at the end of which the club decided to support Greenwood’s continued career, but away from Old Trafford. While a permanent transfer seems to be the preference, interested teams are currently more inclined to consider a loan move.
Roma, potentially facilitating a reunion with Jose Mourinho, is one club that appears ready to give Greenwood a chance to revive his career. Atalanta, Inter, Monaco, and clubs from Germany, Turkey, and Spain have also shown interest, as has the Saudi Pro League.
Despite amassing 135 first-team appearances by the age of 20, Greenwood’s senior international career remains virtually non-existent.
He debuted for England in September 2020 in a UEFA Nations League match in Iceland, only to be sent home in shame two days later after violating Covid-19 regulations at the team hotel.
England’s manager, Gareth Southgate, reportedly met with Greenwood, his family, and Manchester United officials in the autumn of 2021, indicating a willingness to move past the Iceland incident. Southgate is known for offering second chances to young players, but Greenwood was not selected at that time, with reports suggesting dissatisfaction from his camp.
Greenwood’s return to England’s squad was still on Southgate’s agenda at the start of 2022, eyeing the World Cup. However, the arrest and subsequent charges put a halt to those plans.
Greenwood has not played a professional game since January 22, 2022, and has not trained in a professional environment during his suspension.
Should he manage to resurrect his career and international future, the Daily Mail reports that he may decide not to return to England’s squad but opt to represent Jamaica through family qualification. Interest from the Jamaica Football Federation has been present since 2021, and Greenwood has been seen wearing Jamaican team attire.
FIFA’s revised rules regarding international eligibility now allow players to switch allegiance as long as they have played no more than three competitive games at the senior international level before turning 21. Greenwood was 18 during his sole appearance for England, leaving the door open for this possibility.