Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Jadon Sancho, who has arrived from Borussia Dortmund for a reported fee of £73 million. The 21-year-old was linked to the Old Trafford club last summer but the move was never completed after the deadline to sign the player elapsed and the fee demanded at the time was massive, especially when you factor in the coronavirus pandemic which was raging on around the world at the time, added to the fact that supporters were still not inside football stadiums either, resulting in lower turnovers for clubs all over the world. United had been after the player for the past two years or more.
The England international has signed a five-year contract at the Theatre of Dreams which also includes the option of a further year to be added, which is the way contracts have been done since the 2013/14 season. The player was recently involved in Euro 2020 for England, not having a lot of playing time but playing a part in the final, albeit penalties after coming on in the dying seconds of extra time. Along with Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka, Sancho missed his penalty which saw Italy win the tournament with England appearing in their first final since 1966. But this seems to be the beginning, not the end for England.
Sancho has history in Manchester, signing for Manchester City from Watford in 2015, when the player was just 14 with a £66,000 fee paid at the time, which could have risen to £500,000. Sancho was part of City’s academy for two-years before leaving the club for Borussia Dortmund, where the Bundesliga club paid £8 million for the player. City, over the years have lost many talented academy players who have gone on to better things but a talent like Sancho will have been a big loss for them, especially after what he has achieved in Germany, where he has played 137 times for the first team, scoring 50 goals and 64 assists.
During his first season in Germany (2017/18), Sancho made 12 appearance for the first team, scoring one goal and four assists, also making a further nine appearances at youth level, scoring four goals and three assists. The following season (2018/19), Sancho was considered a first team player, making a total of 43 appearances in the Bundesliga, UEFA Champions League and DFB-Pokal, scoring 13 goals and 20 assists – it was the first of three seasons where the player would achieve 20 assists a season. During the 2019/20 season, Sancho made 44 appearances, scoring 20 goals and 20 assists, with a further 16 goals and 20 assists in 38 appearances during the 2020/21 season – his last season in Germany.
During his time in the Bundesliga, Sancho won two trophies for his club; the DFL-Supercup in the 2018/19 season and the DFB-Pokal in the 2020/21 season. He has yet to win a league title, which might be something that he will achieve in the not too distant future at United. He also has an honour with England after helping to win the FIFA U17 World Cup in 2017, a tournament that he was also named the Golden Player and also named in the team of the tournament. It shows that United have added a good player to their squad and the first experienced right-winger, which will add balance to both the squad and the attack.
It is expected that Sancho will head away on holiday after finishing with England after the Euro 2020 final on Sunday evening and could take up to three weeks off, to recuperate and recharge his batteries after a tough season and early summer months. United will be back in action against Derby County in their first pre-season match on Sunday, then facing Queens Park Rangers on the 24 July, Brentford at Old Trafford on the 28 July, Preston North End on the 31 July, ending with another home friendly against Everton on the 7 August, the latter two expected to feature the majority of the players to played in Euro 2020.
Sancho will be looking forward to making his debut for United this season with the club seeking to build on their second-placed finish in the Premier League last season with the club also seeking to build on their Emirates FA Cup quarter-final place, their Carabao Cup semi-final place and with them featuring in the UEFA Champions League for the second-season running, make it to the knockout stages at least and not fall into the UEFA Europa League like last season, which them being beaten by Villarreal on penalties in the final in Gdañsk in May 2021. This will be a big season for both Sancho and his new manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Speaking to the official Manchester United website about signing for the club, Sancho said:
“I’ll always be grateful to Dortmund for giving me the opportunity to play first team football, although I always knew that I would return to England one day.
“The chance to join Manchester United is a dream come true and I just cannot wait to perform in the Premier League.
“This is a young and exciting squad and I know, together, we can develop into something special to bring the success that the fans deserve.
“I am looking forward to working with the Manager and his coaching team to further develop my game.”
Sancho will almost certainly add to United’s attack this season, after some settling in time, where he could feature in the same team as Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes, and with the trios number last season, which included 66 goals and 37 assists, the chances of Sancho increasing those numbers considerably will be a welcome addition which could see United dominate in attack and frustrate their opposition, which is something the club has been doing on and off for the last two years or so, even if the negative supporters want to pretend it did not happen. Solskjaer, speaking to the official Manchester United website about his new signing, said:
“Jadon [Sancho] epitomises the type of player I want to bring to the club, he is a forward player in the best traditions of Manchester United.
“He will form an integral part of my squad for years to come and we look forward to seeing him blossom. His goals and assists records speak for themselves and he will also bring tremendous pace, flair and creativity to the team.
“Old Trafford will give him the platform he needs to release his untapped talent and perform at the highest level. For a player of his age, Jadon has already achieved a great deal and showed the courage to go and prove himself abroad.
“We all look forward to welcoming Jadon to the squad as we prepare for the new campaign.”
Written by John Walker