New Manchester City Women left-back Alex Greenwood has explained that she chose the club because it matches her ambition as a player, having just won the Champions League with Lyon, while her recent past with Manchester United had no influence on the decision.
Greenwood completed her move to City this week following her departure from Lyon, with the transfer coming just a year after she left United, where she was also club captain.
“I’m at an ambitious club and it meets my ambitions as well, so it was a no-brainer when it comes to joining Man City,” the 27-year-old said.
“When I had conversations with my agent and clubs, one option was probably to stay in Lyon and continue what I was doing. Two was to come more or less back home and when I knew City were interested it was an easy decision for me.
“I was excited by the new manager, their plans for the future and what they saw in me – what I could bring to the club. Everything felt right.”
Greenwood was part of the newly-assembled United squad in the summer of 2018 when the club launched its women’s team and was also handed the captain’s armband. She finished that debut season by lifting the Women’s Championship trophy, but was then quickly poached by Lyon.
Women’s football is famously a more friendly environment than the men’s game. But as the sport has become more widespread, passionate club support has become more vociferous, none more so than at United, where the self-titled ‘Barmy Army’ leads chanting on matchdays.
“I see it and understand why people frustrated and disappointed and absolutely entitled to their opinions,” Greenwood said of the situation.
“That’s absolutely fine because this is football. But it’s about my ambitions as a footballer and what I want to achieve. When I got a taste of winning in Lyon that’s something I wanted to continue.
“I wouldn’t say I questioned my decision, but I’m also aware of where I was previously and I gave 100% for that football club and no one can ever take that away from me. For now, my focus is Manchester City and being successful here.”
Having been a United player in the past, Greenwood expects nothing less than a hostile response when she faces her former club in the future – once fans are allowed back into stadiums – but welcomes it as an important part of the game nevertheless.
“I expect friendly banter and more,” she said. “I’m not stupid, I’ve been brought up as a football fan and grown up in the game. Does it motivate me? Probably a little bit, when it comes to day, I’ll have that little extra buzz. But that doesn’t change for any other game.
“For the fans, it’s a day to give me some stick and I completely understand because it’s part of football.”