Man Utd's next six Premier League fixtures
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Manchester United star Jadon Sancho is currently in the spotlight after it emerged he wouldn’t be linking up with the rest of the squad until he’s ready. It’s been a strange season for the England international, who has faded after a bright start to the campaign. But the fact the Red Devils aren’t willing to throw in the towel when it comes to the 21-year-old speaks volumes…
Manchester United signed Sancho for a huge £73million back in the summer transfer window of 2021, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer convinced he had landed a legend in the making.
Yet roughly 18 months on from his arrival, which took place after a four-year pursuit, the jury remains out on the England international.
Sancho has had his moments. He was outstanding earlier in the campaign, with the 22-year-old scoring in victories over the likes of Liverpool and Leicester.
But he’s been a peripheral figure ever since and, now, Ten Hag has confirmed the United star won’t be returning until they’re sure he’s ready to operate at the peak of his powers once again.
According to the Athletic, there’s no chance of a sale. United paid £73m for Sancho and don’t want to let him go just yet, not so early into his time at the club.
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But that speaks volumes about how much United are backing the former Borussia Dortmund star behind the scenes as they look to get him back to his best.
Yes, Sancho has found life back in the Premier League tricky. After a few years of blitzing the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund, that’s understandable.
United figures see a player who is currently in his shell, but they’re working to coax him out of it. Sancho is a polite, friendly figure at the club and determined to prove his worth.
Ten Hag, when asked about the player’s physical condition, said: “First we didn’t see him in the last games for United, so he wasn’t in the right status, in the right fitness state; so now he’s on an individual programme and we want him to finish that programme and hopefully, we see him back soon.”
The Dutchman also said: “He’s not fit enough. Sometimes there are circumstances with fitness and mood.
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“Now he’s on a physical programme and our aim is to get him back as quickly as possible.”
United had originally wanted to sign Sancho back in the summer transfer window of 2017, when it became apparent he’d be leaving fierce rivals Manchester City.
Dortmund won the race for his signature on that occasion, however, with the Bundesliga side luring him to the Westfalenstadion with the promise of regular first-team football.
United then tried again in 2019 but, after failing to qualify for the Champions League, turned to Daniel James as an alternative.
And Dortmund priced them out of a deal the following year, with their demands of £110m ultimately deemed too steep.
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United aren’t willing to give up on Sancho. They know they have a gem, one they believe can play an important role as they look to bring the glory days back.
And one critic he’ll have to defy is Simon Jordan, with the talkSPORT pundit expressing a belief Sancho isn’t as good as many think he is.
“There’s no excuse of him physically not being able to play,” he said.
“The mental side of things – we have got to judge things on equal footing because people underestimate the mental side of people’s challenges. Let’s put them in separate contexts.
“If he’s not physically able to play, that’s inexcusable.
“If he’s not mentally, we have to understand why before we start pouring scorn upon him.
“I look at it and I watch him and I think he’s never been the player people make him out to be.
“I don’t think we saw enough of him at Borussia Dortmund – we saw flashes of him and reputations being built over there.”
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