Manchester United are set to benefit from Jadon Sancho’s omission from Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
According to The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell, having the winger remain at Carrington during this international break is good news for Erik ten Hag.
Speaking on the situation, the manager said after the game:
“We can go specific. That can be beneficial to continue the season. We know, after this break, every three days there will be a game.”
As pointed out by Whitwell, Sancho has responded well to Ten Hag’s coaching methods as he looks set to cruise past last season’s goal tally and cement himself as a crucial player at Old Trafford.
He has scored three goals in eight appearances thus far and has been a key feature of all of the new boss’ competitive line-ups this season.
His versatility has also been something his manager has explored in the early stages of the season, with the Englishman lining up on both flanks and playing as the furthest forward attacker on a couple of occasions within matches.
Sancho’s positional flexibility could be an aspect for further exploration during this intermission, with its on-pitch successes seen both in Moldova and previously against Southampton.
Bruno Fernandes’ winning goal came with Sancho in the striker position according to the manager, and that could make for an interesting option going forward.
It is one of a number of ways this extra time on the training pitch could prove to be “practically beneficial,” with Whitwell suggesting that Ten Hag will be able to speak to Sancho on a more individual level than normally possible about his wishes.
The United star’s omission from the England squad may well sting. Jarrod Bowen and Jack Grealish both look to be in worse form than Sancho yet were still brought into a squad which includes 12 defenders. Southgate even namechecked Rashford and not Sancho as somebody who could force their way back into the World Cup squad.
But judging by the winger’s enthusiastic celebration after his goal against Sheriff Tiraspol, there is no doubt that Sancho will be keen to use this time positively.