Borussia Dortmund’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has been stirring the pot today in regard to England and Manchester United’s handling of Jadon Sancho.
Sancho joined the Red Devils from the Bundesliga side in a transaction that at times became acrimonious and that took over a year of negotiation to complete.
But since his arrival at Old Trafford, Sancho has failed to find his rhythm and he was condemned to the bench yesterday for the ill-fated 1-0 home loss to Aston Villa.
Injuries to Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw meant that only one tactical substitution could be made, but Sancho was left on the sidelines as United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted for Edinson Cavani instead to try to save the game.
England manager Gareth Southgate gave the 21-year-old few opportunities in Euro 2020 and brought him on as a substitute for the final penalty shoot-out in which his effort was saved by Gigio Donnarumma.
Since then, Sancho has not played a full 90 minutes in the Premier League or the Champions League and Watzke clearly believes he is not being given a fair chance to prove himself and regain his confidence.
‘I love Jadon [Sancho]. When you see him playing you get tears in your eyes,’ the CEO said.
‘It hurts my soul that he is given so little consideration. I think his problem is that he’s not set in the English national team.’
Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke: "I love Jadon [Sancho]. When you see him playing you get tears in your eyes. It hurts my soul that he is given so little consideration. I think his problem is that he’s not set in the English national team." #mulive [@sport1]
— utdreport (@utdreport) September 26, 2021
Whether Watzke’s criticism is aimed at Solskjaer, Southgate or both is unclear, but the timing of it suggests it includes the former.
The Norweigian has already come under plenty of fire for his handling of last summer’s new signing, Donny van de Beek, who has also never been given a good run in the team to help him settle.
That situation has been rumbling on for over a season now and is arguably much clearer than that of Sancho, who is arguably rightly still being eased into the team.