Getafe’s sporting director, Rubén Reyes, insisted that Mason Greenwood is just a footballer and the same as any other, after the on-loan Manchester United forward was presented in front of 4,000 fans on Tuesday night. The striker, who has arrived in Spain on a year-long deal with no option to buy, said he was happy to have joined the La Liga side during Tuesday’s event but he did not face any questions from the media, by agreement between United and Getafe.
There was no sign of protest or any discomfort in relation to the fact Greenwood was charged by Greater Manchester police with attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault in October 2022 after allegations were made online. The charges, all of which Greenwood denied, were dropped in February this year, with the Crown Prosecution Service saying “a combination of the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light meant there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction”. Instead, there was excitement, with the Englishman the most celebrated of the three new signings presented at Getafe’s Coliseum Alfonso Pérez stadium.
Greenwood followed Óscar Rodríguez and Diego Rico out the tunnel to a big cheer from the main stand. The same had been true at the morning training session, which had been open to the public, with Reyes adamant that he had no reason to hesitate over signing the 21-year-old. The sporting director said that football was his only concern, that he was not worried about the social outcry and does not anticipate having to protect or manage Greenwood any differently to anyone else.
“We did what we do: sign players that are available to sign,” the sporting director said. “There is no need for us to handle anything [off the pitch]. We have signed a footballer who is just the same as Diego Rico and Óscar Rodríguez, and that’s it. We have to do our job, and that’s what we focus on.”
When Reyes was asked about the off-field issues surrounding Greenwood for a third time, a member of Getafe’s press team stepped in. “It is a year’s loan: it’s very difficult to get an option to buy on a player [like him]. He will be here all season,” Reyes added. “There are internal discussions [between the clubs] but those are small details that we try not to share. They appreciated the effort, how convinced we were.
“We’re very excited with him. He was a player that we knew was out there. We worked on it, gathered information and bit by bit we saw that there could be a possibility. We spoke to his family, to his dad, to his people for a long time. We were able to convince him to come here, to trust in us. We’re satisfied. He plays very free, as if he was on a school playground. He has a very high level. We dreamed that we could bring him here, and sometimes that gets fulfilled.”
Asked by the event host how fit he was, Greenwood replied: “I have been training for about four or five months to get up to pace and I did a session with my teammates this morning, so I feel quite well.” At the end, he signed autographs and posed for selfies, handing his shirt to a supporter in the crowd.
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