After taunts from opposition fans, disparaging graphics from journalists and questions about his price tag from so called ‘experts’ Jadon Sancho finally got off the mark for Manchester United.
The young winger’s £73 million move from Borussia Dortmund ended a four-year hunt for the former Manchester City academy player after lighting up the Bundesliga.
His stats from Germany are simply out of this world, 137 games, 50 goals and 64 assists earmarked him as one of the brightest talents in world football.
So, it was perhaps a bit of a surprise to some that he did not immediately take to English football, not registering a goal contribution in his first 14 appearances.
He was the source of ridicule in the German media for his slow start and struggled for gametime under previous manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
🚨⚽️ | NEW: Sky Germany’s graphic on Jadon Sancho pic.twitter.com/J0mDwQpLpS
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But with United under the caretaker management of Michael Carrick, Sancho made the best possible start to life after Solskjaer, with a stellar performance and goal in the 2-0 Champions League win over Villarreal.
His 90th minute goal was nothing less than he deserved and the blend of joy, triumph and relief on the 21-year-old’s face was clear to see.
“I thought he worked his socks off tonight, I thought he gave everything tonight.”
“It’s a big goal for him, but it was about his performance overall. We know how much Jadon likes the ball at his feet, you see the smile on his face, but the pleasing thing for me was the effort and application he put in.”
There was never any doubt from United fans that Sancho would eventually come good, and this should be the turning point that sees him kick on.