Mason Greenwood return could risk unsettling Man Utd as Ten Hag faces huge call

Erik ten Hag is facing the most challenging dilemma of his Manchester United reign so far when it comes to Mason Greenwood.

Greenwood has been given the green light to rebuild his career after all charges against him were dropped.

And the stunning news means that despite all that has been said, written and alleged about the England and United striker, in the eyes of the law Greenwood has done nothing wrong.

He still has a contract at United until 2025 worth an estimated £4m-a-season.

But he won't be returning to the club until an immediate, internal investigation has taken place into the circumstances around the allegations that were made against Greenwood.

Despite suspending him, United continued to pay Greenwood during the police investigation and subsequent court case.

He remained on the United squad list – but it seems United are in no rush to allow Greenwood back to training so he can reintegrate himself with his team-mates, staff and, of course, get to know his new manager.

But the scenario is much more complicated than this – and will test Ten Hag's judgement like never before.

This is a situation Ten Hag has inherited, because Greenwood was arrested on charges of attempted rape, coercive behaviour and assault occasioning ABH – which have all now been dropped – before he took charge.

And the latest development will have blindsided the Dutchman.

That's because the prospect of having Greenwood back in training at some level could risk unsettling the harmonious atmosphere Ten Hag has built within the squad.

Not long after Greenwood was arrested and then charged, some United stars distanced themselves from him on social media.

Just like some of Greenwood's sponsors, including sporting giants Nike, certain players didn't want to be associated with him.

Ten Hag will have been briefed on all things relating to the entire episode – and will not want anything to jeopardise what has been an impressive first season as United boss.

It's understood Ten Hag has not met Greenwood since taking charge in June – and will now have to asses the implications of having him back in the fold.

As it stands, United remain the only team in English football still in with a shout of winning four trophies this season.

Then there is the fact Greenwood has not kicked a ball in anger for more than 12 months, while United will be keen to discover what impact the experience has had on someone who once had the footballing world at his talented feet.

When the time comes, club bosses will have to spend weeks assessing and monitoring the physical and mental condition of someone now in danger of being a millionaire misfit.

The most ironic aspect of this whole situation is that Ten Hag is desperate to have a top class No9 at his disposal.

And before all this happened, Greenwood was well on the way to proving what a special talent he was.

But this isn't the same as welcoming back a player whose been out injured for 12 months.

Greenwood has a right to go back to his place of work, of course, but remains someone who sullied the name and reputation of United due to the allegations against him which have all been dropped – irrespective of not being found guilty of a crime.

It's difficult to imagine Greenwood pulling on the famous red shirt again this season – or even ever again.

United could choose to sell Greenwood in the summer and press ahead with plans to sign Harry Kane, provided someone is willing to take on someone who has been out for a year, but still earning almost £100,000-a-week.

Perhaps Greenwood will seek a fresh start somewhere else. What happens in the coming months will be fascinating to find out.

But one thing we do know for certain is that Ten Hag has some massive decisions to make – and he has to get them right.

Source: Read Full Article