Wake up call required for Jadon Sancho – opinion

I think the vast majority of Reds out there would agree with me in saying Jadon Sancho’s first year at Old Trafford has been a rather frustrating one to say the least.

There was undoubtedly huge expectations and hype for Sancho after viewing the statistics he recorded in the Bundesliga prior to his arrival in Manchester, with Jamie Carragher even naming him as his One To Watch for the 2021-2022 season. The expectations were not helped by massive price tag put on the young talent. Although I think Sancho has failed to even scratch the surface of the performances expected of him.

In the seasons leading up to his Manchester United transfer, Sancho recorded phenomenal league goal contributions at Borussia Dortmund. With 17 goals and 16 assists in 2019-20 and 8 goals and 11 assist in 2020-21, hopes were always going to be high for Sancho.

Sancho recorded 3 goals and 3 assists for Manchester United last season.

Excuses could be made with regards to Sancho’s opening season at the club with him having three different managers, with various and contrasting styles of play, as well as being rotated between the left-wing and right-wing. Adapting to the style and pace of the Premier League was another valid point which bought the new signing time to settle.

We’re now 15 months on from Sancho’s debut and the winger is still in search of a consistent run of form in the starting team. There has been certain spells since arriving where you thought he was finally finding his feet and he was going to flourish like he did in Germany but he never managed really get going.

An example would be the opening weeks of this season, in which he found the target against Liverpool and Leicester but followed this up with a poor performances which saw him dropped out of the line-up for games against Everton and Omonia Nicosia.

Sancho has certainly been given enough chances, sometimes forced due to the lack of depth as Erik ten Hag’s disposal and recent weeks has saw him return to the United front three. Although without even focusing on the lack of goal contributions, Sancho is showing a lack of any sort of confidence and inept of any real creativity.

In recent weeks he looks feared to take on his man or cross in the ball, predominantly choosing to turn back and recycle the ball. Last weekend’s draw at Stamford Bridge was the clearest sign to date of this in my opinion. Sancho did not look to be on the same wave length as any of the other players and didn’t look dangerous in the final third. This resulted in him being substituted early in the second half after a under-whelming 50 minutes.

At the young age of 22, Sancho obviously has plenty of time to turn this around with the prime years of his career ahead of him, although he may want to put this right sooner rather than later in fear of falling into the category of many hyped English talents that failed to live up to expectations before him.

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