Mason Greenwood excited to restart career as he trains with new club Getafe

On-loan Manchester United player given warm welcome in Spain as he takes part in open session

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The controversial England striker Mason Greenwood admits he "can't wait to get started" after moving a step closer to a return to competitive football with Getafe.

The 21-year-old joined the Spanish club on loan last week after Manchester United decided he should rebuild his career away from Old Trafford. Greenwood was suspended by United on January 30, 2022, over allegations relating to a young woman after images and videos were posted online.

The striker, who scored 36 times in 130 senior appearances for United and has been capped once by England, faced charges including attempted rape and assault, but the UK's Crown Prosecution Service announced in February that the case had been discontinued.

His arrival in Spain has drawn criticism from domestic abuse charities, with Getafe accused of lacking moral responsibility and setting a poor example.

However, the Madrid-based club have been eager to promote Greenwood's arrival on social media, and even staged an open training session to give supporters a first glimpse of him in action. An official presentation is scheduled for 7pm local time on Tuesday evening.

As well as a host of training pictures and videos, the club released footage of Greenwood introducing himself to fans on X, formerly known as Twitter. His own X account has been dormant since January 2022.

“Hi Getafe fans, it’s Mason here. I’m so happy to be here and I can’t wait to get started," he said.

Other posts showed Greenwood, who hasn't played a competitive match since January 2022, running out on to the pitch to a warm reception from fans in the stadium before taking part in the session.

It's clearly all part of an overall strategy to soften the player's reintroduction to senior competitive action, with a player of Greenwood's ability potentially a major asset to a club like Getafe.

After Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid at the Bernabeu his manager, Jose Bordalas, defended the club's decision to recruit him.

“It is a very delicate situation to trivialise that issue," said Bordalas. “Everyone knows what happened and appropriate measures were taken. Everyone knows how it ended, with a non-convictory sentence.

“He is a footballer of a very high level and arrives at Getafe with enormous enthusiasm. Surely he wants to recover his professional status and Getafe can help him in that sense.”

Asked directly about the criticism the club had faced, Bordalas added: “I can only speak at a footballing level. We all know the potential he has. He is a very young boy and we hope that he adapts to a very different League.

"Surely he wants to recover his professional status and Getafe can help him in that sense.”

United faced heavy criticism for their handling of the affair with persistent rumours claiming they intended to reintegrate him into their first-team squad.

On August 21, more than 19 months after his original suspension, they formally announced that "all those involved, including Mason, recognise the difficulties with him recommencing his career at Manchester United".

A product of United’s academy, Greenwood is contracted at Old Trafford until June 2025, with the deal including an option to extend by a further year.

Updated: September 05, 2023, 11:22 AM