Will Jadon Sancho deliver this season?

After joining Manchester United two seasons ago for a fee of £73 million, Jadon Sancho has not performed up to expectations since he joined the club. In the Bundesliga, he was consistently putting up high numbers each and every season. Before joining Manchester United he managed to accumulate 20 goals and 20 assists in all competitions; the season before that 13 goals and 20 assists.

Since joining United, he has managed to pick up 12 goals and 6 assists in 79 appearances in the club. He is a completely different player to what he was a couple of years ago. However, things looked positive for the Englishman in pre-season.

The Borussia Dortmund Jadon Sancho

In the Bundesliga, Sancho was a spectacular player to watch, possessing several qualities that made him one of the top players in the league. His dribbling ability was sensational, plus, he made keeping the ball at his feet look easy. He could beat his man with ease and was deemed one of the best at the time.

Sancho’s decision-making was also something that made him a great player as he was able to open up space in the oppositions half. That allowed his teammates to run through the channels. It gave him plenty of options to choose from when it came to a potential chance to score. He picked up a total of 64 assists at his time in the Bundesliga.

Another attribute was his pace. It was electrifying, and made him one the biggest threats on the counter-attack. With the combination of this, his ability to dribble, and his decision-making, Sancho was a very direct winger that defenders feared.

Many were claiming Sancho would be the next world-class young talent, and it was looking that way considering the way he was performing week in and week out at Dortmund. This is when he started picking up interest from clubs like Manchester City, Real Madrid and of course Manchester United.

Manchester United Jadon Sancho

Sancho’s time at Manchester United so far has seen him lose the abilities that made him the world-class player everyone thought he would be. He has not shown his pace, onr his ability to dribble past his man. He also is not direct like he once was. There are many things that could have contributed to this; having a price tag of £73 million at just 21 years old joining a club of Manchester United’s calibre is not easy.

Sancho is a player that seems to perform based on his confidence or mood, and the media hasn’t exactly been the most pleasant towards him since joining the side. Something that you see happens often with players that move to the Premier League with high expectations due to their price tag.

A positive look in pre-season

Erik ten Hag has been experimenting with Sancho in the build-up to the upcoming season, he has been deployed as a false nine and has impressed him and fans. He is showing signs of his previous self, many agree that this is the best he has looked so far in a Manchester United shirt. He is looking physically better, and sharp on and off the ball. When questioned about Sancho’s future position ten Hag said “Oh, he is doing well. I think Jadon is the best in central positions where he can get to have involvement.”

He managed to score a goal against Arsenal in a 2-0 win, showing a glimpse of his old self. On that occasion, he managed to run almost half the pitch ahead of Tomiyasu and Gabriel, ending the sequence with a neat near-post finish.

Against his former side Borussia Dortmund, he was a standout player in the team and put in a good performance, very lively throughout the game, with amazing movement on and off the ball.

The new season

Considering he has been at the club for two seasons and has not lived up to his expectations, it is make or break for him now. At the moment, his confidence is at an all-time high at Manchester United, and he is showing positive signs in his new role in the squad. Moreover, he will be eager to prove everyone wrong. With all these reasons mixing together, Sancho could turn his Manchester United career around and become a key player for Erik ten Hag.

Ten Hag commented on Sancho stating “Sancho is in a very good vibe, I expect a lot — he has a lot of energy, we have all seen that from the moment he came back.” It appears that he has a lot of confidence in Sancho and knows he is still capable of showing his best self. Seeing all the positive remarks from the coach and fans will definitely be a boost for him going into the new campaign.

It will be interesting to see if he remains in the false nine role with the signing of Rasmus Højlund from Atalanta for £72 million. Even if Sancho is not a consistent starter, with the game time he is given he has to take his chances. Otherwise, his Manchester United career may not be the way he had hoped.

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