Mason Greenwood could represent Jamaica in the future amid longstanding uncertainty over his international career, remaining eligible to switch allegiance from England.
More than 18 months after he was first arrested and later charged with attempted rape, engaging in controlling behaviour and assault, Greenwood’s club future has become a little clearer this week following Manchester United’s decision to ultimately cut ties with the 21-year-old.
The charges were dropped in February 2023 when the withdrawal of key witnesses and “new material that came to light” led the Crown Prosecution Service to no longer believe there was a realistic prospect of conviction. Greenwood was not cleared, as he himself misleadingly claimed in a statement this week, despite not being found guilty of the alleged offences in a court of law.
Manchester United then conducted their own six-month internal investigation, eventually opting to assist Greenwood in continuing his career away from the club. A permanent transfer is preferable, but the teams showing interest so far are looking more at a loan.
90min reported this week that Roma, which would mean a reunion with Jose Mourinho, are one club believed to be ready to give Greenwood a chance to kick-start his career. Atalanta have already spoken to the player about a loan, with Inter, Monaco and clubs in Germany, Turkey and Spain also taking an interest. The Saudi Pro League continues to monitor the situation as well.
For a player with 135 first-team club appearances at the age of 20 before his career was put on hold, Greenwood has almost no senior international career to speak of.
He made his debut for England in September 2020 in UEFA Nations League clash in Iceland but then ended up getting sent home in disgrace two days later when he and Phil Foden contravened quarantine regulations at the team hotel ahead of travelling on to Denmark.
The Daily Mail has reported that England boss Gareth Southgate was prepared to move on from the Iceland incident when he met with Greenwood, members of the player’s family and Manchester United officials in the autumn of 2021. Southgate is noted for his second chance culture for young players provided they show ‘good intentions’, with the meeting also said to present to Greenwood a plan for him to be reintegrated as an England squad player, rather than a starter.
Greenwood ultimately wasn’t selected at that time and it is hinted there was dissatisfaction from his camp over the attention from being called up but potentially not playing. Prior to that, Greenwood had been named in a provisional squad for Euro 2020 but withdrew due to an unspecified injury.
It is said that Southgate was still looking to reintegrate Greenwood as 2022 began, with an eye ultimately on the World Cup, but the arrest and subsequent charges stopped that in its tracks.
As of right now, Greenwood hasn’t played a professional game since 22 January 2022, nor has he trained in a professional club environment throughout his suspension by Manchester United.
Were he to resurrect his career, and with it an international future, the Mail adds that Greenwood may not return to action for England at all. Instead, he could choose to represent Jamaica, qualifying through his family. There has been interest from the Jamaica Football Federation since 2021 and Greenwood has even been recently pictured wearing a Jamaican team tracksuit.
FIFA rules regarding international eligibility would allow Greenwood to switch allegiance. Although previous regulations meant that players were locked in for a particular nation once they had featured in a competitive senior international game, a 2020 update means that players are now able to switch allegiance as long as they have played no more than three competitive games at senior international level before turning 21. Greenwood was 18 at the time of his sole England appearance.