Manchester United’s 2-0 victory against Villarreal in the Champions League on Tuesday night brought many positives, most notably qualification to the knockout stages of the competition.
This game also proved a positive experience for some of the players who were low on form and confidence following the dreadful run of games United have been on that led to the sacking of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last weekend.
One of the players who proved their worth during this game was summer signing Jadon Sancho.
Sancho signed for United form Borussia Dortmund in the summer for a reported £73 million after United showed a long standing interest in the winger, as reported by Sky Sports. Sancho stated the move was ‘a dream come true’ and seemingly could not wait to get started in a red shirt.
United fans were also positive about the move, knowing the club had wanted the youngster since at least the summer previous, it felt like a signing that was always meant to happen. It was also a singing that fans felt solved an issue within the squad, which was the weakness in the right-winger position previously held by either Mason Greenwood, who is more of a central striker, and Daniel James, who has since been sold to Leeds.
United fans had every reason to be excited about the young winger as at the time of purchase, Sancho was considered one of the best young talents in the world.
During his time at Dortmund the winger made 137 appearances in all competitions, scoring 50 goals and contributing 66 assists, for a player who was only 17 when he joined, as reported by the Bundesliga and 21 when he left, these numbers are extremely impressive.
The fact the winger left Manchester City’s Academy at 17 to go abroad to get game time also shows Sancho’s resilience, an attribute that would serve him well at a cub as big as United.
However, Sanchos time at United has not gotten off to the best start, before Tuesdays game Sancho had contributed no goals or assists during his 14 appearances in all competitions. This poor start led to journalists and pundits alike jumping on the youngster and questioning why he was not preforming, especially after arriving for a big fee.
Sky Sports reported that the situation had ‘echoes’ of the Donny Van De Beek situation at United, a player who was bought in the summer of 2020 and has barely been used since. Gary Neville stated that Sancho ‘is a victim of the current performances of the team’ stating that a new player would ideally come into a settled unit, and that did not appear to be the case for the youngster, possibly explaining his bad run of form.
Now things seem to be on the up for Sancho who undoubtedly put in his best performance in a United shirt on Tuesday, scoring his first goal for the club. His all-round performance was also praised by interim manager Michael Carrick who stated after the game that ‘Jadon was brilliant’, as reported by BBC sport.
As United look to move forward into a new era after the dismissal of Solskjaer, it is highly likely that Sancho will be a key player for whoever takes over at the club as there is no doubting, he is a huge talent and could go onto the be one of the best in his position if handled correctly.
United fans do not need to worry as Tuesday proved that the player the club signed in the summer is still there and can make an impact, it is just a case of finding consistent performances moving forward, which he must do in order to keep his spot in the firs team. It is now time for Jadon Sancho to push on and prove his doubters wrong at Manchester United.
Written by Jennifer McCord