Mason Greenwood
Manchester United decided to part ways with Mason Greenwood this summer and sent him on loan to Spanish side Getafe. AFP / Paul ELLIS

Exiled Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood has finally made his first match start for Spanish side Getafe after joining them on a season-long loan. He started for his new club on Wednesday as they settled for a 2-2 draw in a La Liga clash against Athletic Bilbao.

Greenwood's career revival is being met with hostility

Unfortunately for the 21-year-old, playing away from England has not taken him out of the pressure cooker. Getafe announced his arrival right at the end of the summer transfer window, just days after it was "mutually" decided that he could not play with Manchester United following his suspension which lasted for a year and a half.

As a result, the loan deal was brokered and a number of Getafe fans were seen cheering when the news broke. It was clear to Manchester United that keeping Greenwood in the roster would lead to fierce backlash after the player was accused of attempted rape, assault and coercive behaviour by a former partner.

Unfortunately, the scandal followed him even after he was shipped off to Spain. He came in as a substitute in Getafe's two previous matches against Real Sociedad and Osasuna, but manager Jose Bordalas finally allowed him to start at San Mames.

Unfortunately, despite being able to show off moments of brilliance, Greenwood has constantly been attacked by spectators in the stands. Every time he has come out to play so far, chants of "Greenwood die!" have resonated across different stadiums.

The chants were first heard in mid-September during Getafe's 3-2 victory against Osasuna at home, which was also Greenwood's first ever appearance in a Getafe shirt. The incident was investigated by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), which is also dealing with its own sexual assault scandal involving former president Luis Rubiales.

Osasuna manager Jagoba Arrasate condemned the chants, but that did not stop Real Sociedad fans from doing the same just days later. Then, on Wednesday, Greenwood's first start for Getafe came amid jeers, whistles and similar chants every time he touched the ball at San Mames.

Greenwood is keeping his head down

Despite the hostility from the crowd, Greenwood managed to set up Gaston Alvarez for a goal in the second half, which helped Getafe find an equaliser at 1-1. They fell behind early after Yuri Berchiche struck in the 6th minute, but the match eventually ended in a 2-2 draw. There is no doubt that Greenwood has been making notable contributions for the club, but it will perhaps take much longer for football fans to brush aside his off-pitch issues.

He has kept himself fit despite having been suspended from January 2022, when he was first arrested over allegations made by his former partner on social media. His last start was more than 600 days ago, when he featured in Man United's 1-0 win over West Ham at Old Trafford on January 22, 2022.

He was arrested shortly after, and was immediately suspended by the Red Devils. He was formally charged months later, and was expected to face trial. However, in February this year, the Crown Prosecution Service was forced to drop the charges after key witnesses refused to cooperate.

United then decided to open an internal probe into the matter, and a decision was reached this summer that he could no longer stay at Old Trafford. The club vowed to help him get back on his feet elsewhere, and he was eventually shipped off to the outskirts of Madrid to join Getafe.

The RFEF will likely impose fines upon the clubs whose fans abuse Greenwood, but it will probably be difficult to stop the same from happening again in subsequent games especially when Getafe play away from home. Nevertheless, Greenwood appears to be determined to get his career back on track, and he will surely be given plenty of opportunities to show off his talent in the coming months.