When Mason Greenwood took the field at Old Trafford in a Premier League game against West Ham on the 22nd of January, little did fans know that this would be the young footballer’s last game for a long while.
The question being asked now is: has Greenwood kicked his last ball in a competitive match?
On the 30th of January, in a series of Instagram posts, his then-girlfriend Harriet Robson accused him of threats, physical assault and rape, with pictures and related evidence to accompany her claims.
Ever since then, Greenwood has seen his career take a turn for the worst, with a majority of Manchester United fans calling for a lifetime ban, and a complete dissociation from him.
However, a recent turn of events has led a few to consider the possibility of him playing in the Premier League again.
Followers on Instagram were surprised to find that the seemingly estranged couple have started following each other on the platform again.
This has made fans hypothesize the return of the academy graduate amidst the ongoing investigations.
Some have even entertained the idea that perhaps Greenwood has come to a personal truce with Robson, and that the charges might be dropped.
Unlikely as it seems, if that is to be true, there remains a possibility that he indeed might make a return in the future.
As things stand, he remains suspended by his boyhood club.
Last month, there were further speculations about his status as a Manchester United player when his name appeared in the club’s squad for the Premier League, amongst the U21s.
This was immediately clarified by the club, stating that he continues to be barred from training and playing games for an indefinite period.
United have also removed the option of purchasing shirts with his name and number from their club shop.
His sponsorship deal with Nike was terminated with immediate effect and he was also removed by EA from their FIFA 22 game, although he still continues to be paid his wages by his club.
The consensus seems to be that he should be kept from playing football and punished to the full extent of the law in spite of his association with the illustrious club, even with the latest developments on social media.
However, a few fans appear to be taking a more lenient view on Twitter, citing his age and his potential as counterpoints to cut the severity of his punishment, with some even sceptical about the validity of the accusations.
These notions have been met with a considerable amount of criticism on social media.
Many fans are of the opinion that the young prospect should not be given special privilege for the duration of the investigation, irrespective of his obvious talent and his tender age.
As is the case with accusations of sexual misconduct towards players, the mainstream media have remained largely tight-lipped over this issue and the backlash for Greenwood comes mainly in social media circles.
Even so, the support for him continues, as evidenced by the tweet shown below.
There appears to be a large-scale alienation of those who supported Greenwood amongst United fans.
They find themselves at odds with the rest of football fans who condemn violence and wish to see the player be made an example out of in order to curb crimes against women.
Whatever the outcome of the investigation might be in the end, it is patent that Harriet Robson’s revelations have polarized not just United fans, but many in the wider community of football fans as well.