Mason Greenwood exploded onto the scene last season at Manchester United and England.
A phenomenal talent, blessed with pace, dribbling ability and terrifying finishing off both feet, he was incredible. Finishing the season with 17 senior goals, he looked destined to star for United and England in 2020/21. However, it hasn’t quite happened that way.
Since breaking isolation rules by inviting women into a room in Iceland with England teammate Phil Foden, he’s gone under the radar again. Now struggling for a starting place at Manchester United and, unlike Foden, has missed out on a place in the latest England squad.
From here, it appears, Greenwood is at something of a crossroads.
England does have history when it comes to cutting the legs out from under talented footballers. Robbie Fowler, Wayne Rooney, David Beckham…
English media pressure has almost destroyed all of them. Greenwood will now have to be squeaky clean as well as in good form to rebuild that reputation.
The responsibility also falls on those managing him and others of his age and talent. In the likes of Greenwood, Jadon Sancho, Trent Alexander-Arnold and others like them, England have without a doubt some of the world’s best young talents.
However, we’ve been here before. The “golden generation” was one that on paper at least matched almost any national team of the last 20 years.
England simply can’t afford to see another generation of supreme talent fall by the wayside. The shouts from St. George’s Park have always been about winning the 2022 World Cup.
The talent produced by England is more than capable of doing that. However, more care needs to be taken by both player and management to give a platform for that to happen.
Much like Greenwood, the English national team is at something of a crossroads. After four years of ignominy and shocking tournament performances, the England team started to produce again. Now we can only hope that like Greenwood, England can build on their immense promise and fulfil their promise.