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Gareth Southgate speaks on Mason Greenwood’s potential return to England squad after Man Utd decision

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Gareth Southgate speaks on Mason Greenwood's potential return to England squad after Man Utd decision

England national team coach, Gareth Southgate was asked whether Mason Greenwood can continue his career under his management after naming his latest Three Lions squad on Thursday.

This is coming after Southgate unveiled his latest Three Lions squad for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifier against Ukraine and an international friendly against Scotland, the spotlight shifted to the absence of Mason Greenwood, raising questions about the forward’s future in the England squad.

The announcement came in the midst of Greenwood’s departure from Manchester United by mutual consent, following the club’s internal investigation into his conduct.

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The press conference at St. George’s Park that followed the squad announcement saw Southgate fielding an array of inquiries, touching upon his selection of players with limited recent game time, such as Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips, as well as the inclusion of Jordan Henderson, who recently made a move to Al Ettifaq.

READ ALSO: EPL: Manchester United receives Injury boost ahead of Arsenal clash

Among the queries, one stood out: the status of Mason Greenwood and his potential return to representing England on the international stage.

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Greenwood’s journey has been riddled with controversies, including his arrest in January 2022 on suspicion of rape and assault.

Subsequent to the arrest, charges were filed against him, including attempted rape, engaging in controlling and coercive behavior, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm in October of the same year

However, in a turn of events, these charges were dropped in February of the current year. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) cited a combination of factors, such as the withdrawal of key witnesses and the emergence of new evidence, leading to the determination that there was no longer a realistic chance of securing a conviction.

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The suspension imposed by Manchester United upon Greenwood’s arrest has kept him sidelined from footballing activities since January 2022.

Furthermore, his England appearances have been on hold since September 2020, a suspension prompted by his breach of COVID-19 guidelines during a trip to Iceland, an incident which also involved Phil Foden.

READ ALSO: Manchester United makes official move for former Chelsea star amidst defensive Crisis

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In the midst of these developments, Gareth Southgate shared his perspective on Greenwood’s situation during the press conference.

With careful consideration, Southgate addressed the issue, stating, “It’s clearly a very complex case and at the moment, he isn’t playing football, so it isn’t a consideration for us.

It’s hypothetical [whether he could play again for England]. I think it’s a topic that whatever I say, I could give you a nuanced answer, but it will be used in a less nuanced fashion, frankly.”

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The manager’s response illustrates the intricate nature of Greenwood’s circumstances and the potential repercussions of any statement he might make regarding the player’s return to international football.

In the context of club-level football, speculation has arisen regarding Greenwood’s potential loan move to the Turkish Super Lig side Besiktas.

Reports from ‘i’ suggest that Besiktas is contemplating the possibility of signing the 21-year-old forward. However, an interesting twist lies in the fact that the club would need the consent of their women’s team before finalizing any such transfer.

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As the football world watches Greenwood’s journey unfold – from his departure from Manchester United to potential club-level shifts and of course, his future in the England squad – the complexities of his situation are undeniable.

The story serves as a reminder of the multifaceted nature of the sports world, where off-field developments can have significant implications for on-field opportunities.

With Southgate’s cautious stance reflecting the matter’s sensitivity, only time will reveal the direction in which Greenwood’s footballing career will ultimately steer.

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