Mason Greenwood: Controversial Striker’s Potential Italian Odyssey
In the unyielding panorama of football, Manchester United’s prodigious talent, Mason Greenwood, finds himself embroiled in controversy. As United initiate their pre-season exercises, Greenwood’s future at the Theatre of Dreams teeters precariously on the edge of uncertainty.
Earlier this year, the grave allegations of attempted rape and assault were withdrawn by the Crown Prosecution Service. Concurrently, the unsettling social media revelations of a woman alleging instances of violence also ceased. Thus, this potential storm surrounding Greenwood has temporarily abated. Yet, the question remains, will the Red Devils harness the talents of this young English international for the forthcoming season?
Man United’s Scoring Dilemma
Erik ten Hag, United’s skipper at the helm, could utilise the in-house resolution Greenwood presents to United’s striker shortage. The dearth of elite goal-scorers, coupled with their astronomical price tags and United’s own financial constraints, make the 21-year-old Greenwood an enticing option.
On the flip side, Greenwood could find himself cast away on loan, with the Serie A constantly emerging as a viable sanctuary.
The Changing Face of Serie A
Once notorious for its dubious dealings, the Italian top flight has evolved. From signing the offspring of despots to giving match-fixing culprits a second chance, Serie A has walked a tightrope of morality. Recent years, however, have witnessed a transformation. Today’s Serie A is more conscious of its image and determined to champion meaningful causes. A significant one being violence against women.
Serie A, in conjunction with the WeWorld non-profit, aims to spotlight this grave issue. The last six seasons have seen Serie A dedicate a matchday to this cause. As recently as February, players and officials donned a streak of red face paint, symbolising physical abuse. On large screens, footballing luminaries like Alessandro Del Piero and Marco Materazzi echoed this sentiment, advocating for the eradication of violence against women from society.
The commitment to this cause isn’t fleeting, as Serie A president, Lorenzo Casini pledges to uphold the initiative introduced by his predecessor Paolo Dal Pino. Casini stresses the necessity to persistently shed light on this issue.
Mason Greenwood set for an interview before pre-season.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@Sky_SportPL) July 4, 2023
Stark Statistics Paint a Grim Picture
The collaboration between Serie A and WeWorld gained prominence in 2021’s winter after the upsurge in violence against women during the Covid-19 lockdown. A shocking rise of 119 per cent in daily calls to the 1522 helpline, a free service for female victims of violence, was reported by ISTAT, Italy’s National Institute of Statistics.
Marco Chiesara, president of WeWorld, stated that one in three women experience violence at least once in their lives. The haunting figures continue with 70 per cent of women facing some form of violence in the workplace, 40 per cent within their families or relationships, and more than 50 per cent on the streets.
The Football World Responds
Luciano Spalletti, Napoli’s 2022-23 Scudetto-winning coach, regularly utilised his press conferences to highlight these injustices. Commemorating victims of violence like Mahsa Amini and Giulia Tramontano, he used his platform to send a powerful message against violence.
Other instances have seen the second-division club, Genoa, face scrutiny for not suspending midfielder Manolo Portanova, sentenced to six years for group sexual assault. Bari’s club president Luigi De Laurentiis also initiated training for their youth sector to combat violence and gender discrimination, bullying and cyberbullying.
Italy’s Current Context
This is the current reality of Italy and its football clubs, who are now more attuned to these pressing issues than ever before. It’s in this scenario that Greenwood may find himself landing, with the weight of past accusations still looming. How will Serie A and its discerning audience accept the Manchester United striker? It remains to be seen.