Jadon Sancho has not had the most promising start to his Manchester United career.
After arriving from Borussia Dortmund for €85 million, many expected the 21 year old to hit the ground running.
Sancho has failed to score or assist in eight games for the Red Devils, which had never happened at the Bundesliga club.
8 – Jadon Sancho has not scored or assisted in any of his eight appearances for Man Utd, this after registering five goals and five assists in his final eight appearances for Borussia Dortmund. His longest run without a goal or assist at Dortmund was seven games. Misused? pic.twitter.com/G8HwBZx7Gd
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 30, 2021
This, however, most likely boils down to some factors explained well by The Athletic’s Carl Anka in his recent article.
He states: “Sancho’s place in Gareth Southgate’s set-up is its own separate story, but a disappointing Euro 2020 has had a knock-on effect to his start with United.”
“Sancho only earned 97 minutes of playing time during Euro 2020 (across three appearances) and, like many players who featured in the tournament, he was afforded an extended break following its conclusion.”
“A small bout of illness following the tournament meant that while he completed his transfer to United on July 23, Sancho did not have his first full training session with the club until August 9, after United had completed their training camp in Scotland and their final preseason game against Everton.”
The Euros debacle followed by the lack of preseason training indeed has hindered Sancho’s game thus far.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping that he finds his feet quickly to establish himself in this team as one of the prime creators.
Anka also goes on to defend the 21 year old’s performances.
“Solskjaer’s use of Sancho on the left is also perhaps an attempt to help his winger acclimatise to the Premier League as he builds match fitness.”
“Compare Sancho’s touch map from his 30-minute substitute appearance on the right against Southampton… … to his 72-minute performance against Wolverhampton Wanders, where he featured on the left.”
“The 1-0 victory over Wolves did bring the curious sight of Sancho on the left while Dan James played on the right, but this appeared to be a tactical move from Solskjaer to use the Welshman to try and nullify the potential threat of Adama Traore.”
The 21 year old is used to a possession-based system, thriving on interchangeability and movement of players around him.
It will take him time to adapt to Solskjaer’s counter-attacking style of play.
Another startling stat shows how Sancho grows into the season. The Englishman did not net his first goal for Dortmund until the 14th game week last season.
Jadon Sancho didn’t score his first Bundesliga goal of last season until Matchday 14. In his following 10 appearances, he was directly involved in 12 goals — 6 goals & 6 assists.
Inevitable. 💫⏳ pic.twitter.com/9TFOE802sD
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) September 30, 2021
United have a fantastic talent on their hands, with an abundance of European experience at a very young age.
Solskjaer must be patient and help Sancho integrate with the side to get the best out of him.