Home » Jadon Sancho: Expensive flop or ready to explode for Manchester United?

Jadon Sancho: Expensive flop or ready to explode for Manchester United?

by Red Billy
Jadon Sancho

Jadon Sancho’s start to his Manchester United career has not been productive so far and while many believe that he simply needs time to settle, others are suggesting he is not a god fit for the United side.

Among the former group is manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was quick this weekend to explain the reasons that Sancho has not hit the ground running.

‘He’s English and lived in Manchester before but he’s not played in the Premier League until now,’ the boss said.

‘He’s got Champions League experience, great experience with Dortmund, but now it’s the Premier League is the best league in the world and he’s come in here, he’s going to give us so much in the years to come.

‘He’s humble, he’s hard working, he wants to learn and I’m looking forward to see him develop and blossom because he will.

‘He’s had moments with us that has had the crowd really on the edge of their seats. Can he add the next bit? Yes I’m sure and he will do.’

However, The Times’ Oliver Norcroft is not so sure.

‘It might have been expected that Sancho, with his innate flair, would thrive in the environment Solskjaer promotes, where stars are somewhat left to do their thing but that’s not how it seems to be turning out,’ the reporter says.

‘Sancho, after all, was developed in Manchester City’s patterned, Guardiola-influenced youth teams and Dortmund had a defined way of playing and defined, Dortmund-style players. He’s just 21 and the Premier League is new to him.

‘Sancho has cut an inhibited figure since arriving at United, far removed from the free spirit who illuminated the Bundesliga.

‘He looks a young man crying out for direction. More telling, still, than his lack of goal involvements (having contributed to 114 goals in 137 appearances for Dortmund) has been a reticence to run with the ball.

‘It is supposed to be Sancho’s trademark. He led the Bundesliga for dribbles attempted in 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 but is joint 86th for it in this season’s Premier League.

‘On the ball, for United, his inhibitions are plain. He has been turning back, looking for safe options rather than attacking the man or spaces in front of him.’

Beside United’s ‘lack of defined way of playing’, another of the reasons for those inhibitions could be, as discussed in a previous article here, the tactics that restrict Sancho to a rigid positional discipline compared to what he was used to at Dortmund. He is, essentially, pinned to the wing rather than being allowed to roam freely across the front line.

With Marcus Rashford now fit and Mason Greenwood on fire, Sancho is unlikely to start for United against their old rivals today. But a good performance off the bench in such a big game might be exactly what the 21-year-old needs to ignite his United career and prove Solskjaer right and the doubters wrong.

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