What Manchester United Actually Got From Jadon Sancho?

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Manchester United have reached a full agreement with Borussia Dortmund for Jadon Sancho’s loan move, Fabrizio Romano confirmed on Wednesday. The 23-year-old winger is expected to complete his medical very soon and potentialy even be part of the matchday squad for the weekend’s Bundesliga’s return of action.

The report says there is no buy option included in this deal, so this means Sancho will definitely return to Manchester United in the summer. That will be particularly interesting to see how it unfolds, because for months he has been ostracised from Erik Ten Hag’s side and it seems that there is no point for him to stay at Old Trafford.

Still, United paid €85m for him back in July of 2021, and it is possible the club simply want to get the most out of his potential sale, whenever that might be. Whatever turns out to be the case, one things is for certain – Jadon Sancho has been a big mistake from Man United. Clearly, no one could have known that in advance two and a half years ago, but looking at what Sancho actually gave to United in this time, we see his performances from Germany were nowhere to be seen.

The Bundesliga and the Premier League are not the same leagues, but nevertheless, much more was expected. In his three full seasons at Dortmund’s first team, from 2017 to 2021, Sancho was amazing. First, he scored 12 goals and added 14 assists. Then he exploded with 17 goals and 16 assists the next year, and his final season was also a good one – with eight goals and 11 assists. And that is without counting his Champions League tally.

But at United, Sancho never performed in a way that could result in him scoring and assisting more regularly. His first season brought out just three goals and three assists in almost 2000 minutes in the Premier League. Last season, he improved but ever so slightly, with six goals and three assists in 1700 minutes. Still, his performances were far from what was expected and how he used to perform at Dortmund.

An important caveat in all this is that Man United really are not the best environment these years, as there have not been that many signings who shined at Old Trafford and impressed everyone. Simply, many players do not find their feet properly in this chaotic club, which it has been for basically a decade.

But what United also got from Sancho are problems off-the-pitch. The player often struggled and in 2022, when Ten Hag was still a new manager at the club, Sancho was given a special program before he was ready to return to the team. Sancho was out of the squad when he suffered an unspecified injury in November 2022, when there was the World Cup break. He did not travel to Spain for the training camp and Ten Hag gave the player necessary time to return to full fitness and reintegrated him in the squad.

But this season new problems emerged. Ten Hag criticised Sancho of not being good enough in training, giving out poor performances and when the player went out publicly to criticise the manager, everyone knew the end was near. Sancho was sanctioned and left out of the first team and for Ten Hag, he was already a former Man United player. That is, unless he apologised, which the winger was not willing to do. Now what United only want is to cut their losses as much as possible. At 23, Sancho has already made too many problems, did not perform as well as he was expected and has been out of the first team for months. He will have to ‘revive’ himself somewhere else, away from the lights of Old Trafford.

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