Jadon Sancho: How star is performing at Dortmund as Man Utd return chances analysed

12 Mar 2024

Jadon Sancho has had an eventful season in 2023-24, having played just three times for Manchester United towards the start of the campaign.
After Sancho was left out of Man Utd’s squad for the Premier League clash against Arsenal on September 3, there was speculation that the winger had picked up an injury. But manager Erik ten Hag then revealed that Sancho was omitted from the matchday squad as he had not been training properly.

Sancho did not take this public criticism well, posting a response on social media which urged fans not to believe everything they see and read, while also complaining about his situation as a Man Utd scapegoat.
The Englishman subsequently deleted the post, but the damage was done. Ten Hag would not reintegrate Sancho into the Man Utd squad unless he said sorry, and that apology never came.
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Sancho was rescued from Old Trafford in the January transfer window, as Borussia Dortmund re-signed him on loan.
It is unlikely the move will be made permanent this summer though, as Dortmund sporting director Sebastian Kehl says it is not ‘realistic’ for the Bundesliga giants to afford such a deal. Plus, TEAMtalk exclusively revealed on Wednesday that Sancho is aiming to return to Man Utd this summer and form part of the new era under Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
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Ten Hag is at growing risk of being sacked, which will open the door for Sancho to return under a new manager.

How is Sancho doing in Germany?

Sancho got off to a good start back at Dortmund, registering an assist for Marco Reus in his first game against Darmstadt after coming off the bench in the 55th minute.
Sancho shone in the next match against Koln, showing some of his old Dortmund magic by gliding past two players before winning a penalty, which Niclas Fullkrug converted.
But the 23-year-old could not repeat that exciting performance the following week against Bochum and was then left out for the 0-0 draw with Heidenheim.
In an interview with transfermarkt, Bundesliga expert Stefan Bienkowski said: “Two assists from his first two Bundesliga games suggested that the last couple of years at Man Utd had just been a horrid fever dream, but a poor performance against Bochum and then a necessary rest against Heidenheim because he wasn’t quite up to full fitness brought back a lot of the realities that troubled him at Old Trafford.”

The wide man returned for Dortmund against Freiburg on February 9, coming off the bench in the 88th minute. Although, it was a cameo to forget for Sancho as he missed three big chances late in the game. Luckily for Dortmund, they were already 3-0 up by that point.
Sancho then went a further four matches without registering a goal or assist, which saw German outlet WAZ wonder why Dortmund had made a ‘big fuss’ over landing him in the winter window. WAZ’s report said Sancho was lacking confidence and match fitness, with his timing also seemingly off in Dortmund attacks.
Sancho silenced his critics on over the weekend, though. He demonstrated brilliant skill to take on Werder Bremen’s Julian Malatini before beating the goalkeeper with a near-post finish, putting Dortmund 2-0 up. That goal proved to be crucial as Marcel Sabitzer was sent off just before half time and Werder clawed one back in the 70th minute.

Ultimately, though, Sancho’s strike proved to be the difference, helping BVB continue their push for a top-four finish.
Against Werder, Sancho looked fitter and more lively than he has done for most of the season so far, which will get Dortmund fans excited that he might be about to go on a devastating run in front of goal.

To earn that huge £73m switch to Man Utd, Sancho managed 50 goals and 64 assists in 137 appearances during his first spell at Dortmund.
After the win over Werder, BVB boss Edin Terzic – who has a great relationship with Sancho – revealed how the player is still gunning to improve even after his goal.

“In the last few days and weeks, I’ve gotten many, many questions about why he isn’t where he was yet,” Terzic said.
“For us, it makes complete sense if you take into account what his last 12 months looked like, and yet last week he was very dissatisfied and there was a long conversation.
“After the game, he was dissatisfied because he said he lost the ball too many times, especially in the second half, and that’s what I like about him. He is not just focusing on his goal but taking in the entire performance.
“Even though he hadn’t scored in the last few weeks, we’ve seen that he’s well on his way there. We know he’s not 100 per cent yet but we’ll get him there.”

Will attacker make Man Utd comeback?

As previously mentioned, Sancho will return to Man Utd this summer as Dortmund cannot afford to sign him permanently. There has been talk of Dortmund signing him on another loan, though it would be a surprise if Man Utd accepted this option.
Ratcliffe either needs to sell Sancho or decide that he should be given another chance at Man Utd.
Under Ten Hag, the Manchester City academy graduate will not be given any more opportunities, but the player is in luck.
Sources have confirmed to TEAMtalk that Ratcliffe is planning to get rid of Ten Hag this summer to land a top-class new coach.
That new manager, who could be Roberto De Zerbi, Graham Potter or Julian Nagelsmann, is likely to reintegrate Sancho back into the senior squad.
There has been plenty of speculation about Ratcliffe engineering a clearout this summer, with Anthony Martial, Antony and Facundo Pellistri all under threat of being sold.
Those players departing would boost Sancho up the pecking order. He could then battle Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho for a starting spot out wide.
READ MORE: The four problem positions Ratcliffe must fix at Man Utd this summer and who might solve their weaknesses

Manchester United star Rasmus Hojlund gets questioned by teammates

Manchester United‘s rising star, Rasmus Hojlund, has found himself in hot water after giving an interview to a controversial YouTube channel, reported by GOAL. The Danish striker, unaware of the channel’s critical stance towards the club, spoke openly about his recent success and life in Manchester. However, this decision has led to his teammates questioning his judgment.

According to reports from the United We Stand magazine, several Manchester United players confronted Hojlund over his interview with the YouTube channel. The channel, known as The United Stand, has been known for its critical views on the Red Devils. Concerned about the negative light it could shed on the team, Hojlund’s fellow players expressed their disapproval.
Mark Goldbridge, the person behind The United Stand group, took to social media to address the controversy. In response to the backlash, Goldbridge made it clear that the interview had been planned for months and that everyone in the club was aware of it. He also highlighted that the interview had been conducted on a training day at Carrington, where media engagement was scheduled.

As the dust settles on this controversy, Manchester United is set to face their arch-rivals, Liverpool, in an FA Cup quarter-final clash. Erik ten Hag’s side will be seeking to continue their recent good form in this crucial match. The encounter promises to be a thrilling battle between two in-form teams, and fans are eagerly anticipating the outcome.
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Despite the distractions caused by the interview controversy, Hojlund will need to focus on his performance on the field. The young Danish striker has been in exceptional form lately, and his rise has been a bright spot for Manchester United. It remains to be seen how this incident will affect his relationship with his teammates and his overall standing within the club.
The FA Cup quarter-final against Liverpool presents a significant opportunity for Rasmus Hojlund and his teammates to prove themselves. A strong performance against their fierce rivals would not only help them advance in the competition but also mend any potential rifts caused by the interview.
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Tottenham legend gives verdict on Radu Dragusin display after Van de Ven concerns grow

Legendary Tottenham striker Clive Allen has given his verdict on Radu Dragusin’s display against Aston Villa as fears grow over how long Micky van de Ven’s latest injury could keep him on the sidelines for.
Spurs produced arguably their best performance on the road as they trounced Champions League rivals Aston Villa 4-0 at Villa Park on Sunday thanks to goals from James Maddison, Brennan Johnson, Son Heung-min and Timo Werner.
And while there were many positive things coming out of a fine victory another injury to Van de Ven was not one of them.
The Dutchman had to be replaced at the start of the second half after appearing to suffer a recurrence of a hamstring injury that kept him out for a couple of months earlier in the campaign.
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January signing Dragusin was forced off the bench to have his first significant minutes in a Tottenham shirt, having failed to start a game for the club so far after his move from Genoa.
However, he coped well with the threat of one of the Premier League’s top strikers this season in the shape of Ollie Watkins and Allen was clearly impressed with what he saw.
Allen, who scored 49 goals for Tottenham during the 1986-87 season, felt Dragusin looked calm and composed and can form a strong partnership with Cristan Romero if needed.
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He told SPURSPLAY: “I thought he was fabulous because Micky’s performance was outstanding, it was a pressure situation for him to come into, he looked really comfortable, he was calm, he was controlled.
“Yes, obviously, we had the man advantage but I just thought that again, alongside Romero, you can see the possibility of a pairing there, with Micky maybe play with three, there are lots of permutations, but the way he handled himself in the time he was on the field was fantastic.”

Postecoglou crossing his fingers over Van de Ven

At this stage, it remains unclear just how long Van de Ven will be out for, although Ange Postecoglou did not seem too concerned when speaking his post-match press conference on Sunday.
He told reporters when asked about the pacy centre-back: “He [Van de Ven] doesn’t think it’s anything too significant. So disappointing for him because he was outstanding again up until that point.

“Great for Radu to come in, his first significant game time in a big game and I thought he handled it really well”.
Dragusin will likely get the opportunity to form a partnership with Romero during Tottenham training this week as they prepare to face Fulham on Saturday.
A win at Craven Cottage will see Spurs leapfrog Villa into the top four, with Unai Emery’s men not in action until Sunday when they head to West Ham.
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Keane rates chance of Man Utd qualifying for the Champions League after Spurs beat Aston Villa

Roy Keane insists Man Utd must find some consistency if they are to have any chance of catching Tottenham or Aston Villa in the race to qualify for the Champions League.
The Red Devils have had a poor second season under Erik ten Hag with Man Utd finishing rock bottom of their Champions League group and struggling to achieve their targets in the Premier League.

Roy Keane: Man Utd need some consistency

Man Utd bounced back from consecutive league defeats to Fulham and Man City to beat Everton 2-0 on Saturday, thanks to goals from the penalty spot from Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford.
The three points against the Toffees keeps them in sixth position in the Premier League table, six points behind fifth-placed Tottenham – who have a game in hand – and eight points adrift of fourth-placed Aston Villa.
Tottenham closed the gap on Aston Villa to two points on Sunday by beating Unai Emery’s side 4-0 with James Maddison, Brennan Johnson, Son Heung-min and Timo Werner getting on the scoresheet.
On Spurs’ win at Villa and what it means for Man Utd’s chances of Champions League qualification, Keane said on Sky Sports: “I think that confidence (at Spurs), that momentum when you have players coming off the bench scoring goals. That feel-good factor that goes into winning games of football.
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“It’s a setback for Villa and a big result for Spurs. I’m not sure really, we’re talking about top four or top five but the main thing for United is to be consistent and to keep winning football matches, and hoping they (Spurs and Villa) slip up obviously.
“If that 5th place is available…I think it’s a bit of a stretch to catch Villa for 4th. They have to keep winning football matches.”

Bruno Fernandes: No one gives the ball away on purpose

When put to him that every match feels like a big match right now for Man Utd, goalscorer Fernandes told Stadium Astro: “It is actually.
“Obviously we know that this season is not being (as) good as we want, so we want to improve as much as we can until the end of the season.

“Improve obviously position-wise because we want to try to get as close as possible to the Champions League spots.
“We know that we don’t depend only on ourselves, but we have to do our job like we did today and win our games.”
Ten Hag’s men host Liverpool in the FA Cup quarter-finals next weekend, when a repeat of the kind of sloppiness seen against Everton, particularly in the first half, could lead to an ugly outcome.
And Man Utd captain Fernandes added: “No one gives the ball away on purpose. So, you miss the pass, sometimes it doesn’t go the way you want.
“Obviously, we need to get high focus in these kind of games (against Everton) because we know they have a really strong counter-press and a really strong counter-attack.
“We know that every ball that they could recover, they will try to get their space and their time to have their chances.

“But I think overall the performance was good, obviously there’s always margin to improve.
“I think keeping more on the ball, more spells with more passes, trying to play higher on the pitch in their half, keep the ball there and then still creating a lot of chances that we create today.”
READ MORE: Gossip: Man Utd willing to ‘do everything’ to land Kane; Arsenal set defender price ahead of ‘fire sale’

Arsenal go cold on Toney transfer as Arteta draws up four-man list of preferred striker signings

Arsenal are unlikely to pursue a move for Brentford striker Ivan Toney this summer as they prioritise other forward targets, TEAMtalk can reveal.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has admitted he plans to recruit a striker in the summer transfer window ahead of next season, with Toney rumoured to be on his side’s wish list.

Brentford manager Thomas Frank has previously conceded he expects his club to sell star striker Toney in the summer, which has fuelled speculation over a move to Arsenal.
Toney’s actions have also frequently suggested he does not believe he’ll be playing for the Bees next season.
However, sources have told TEAMtalk that Arsenal are not currently planning a move for Toney to bolster their attacking options, despite him having previously been named their top target for the summer.
They feel Brentford’s price tag of £60million and above for the Englishman could prove prohibitive, with the Gunners battling to stay within the limits of FFP after spending heavily in last summer’s transfer window, when they made moves for Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber.
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Coaches tell Arteta to swerve Toney

Some of Arsenal’s coaching and recruitment staff also feel Toney does not fit the profile for the type of striker signing they want to make and they are therefore prioritising other forward targets.
The Gunners are admirers of Sporting CP’s Viktor Gyokeres, Juventus hit-man Dusan Vlahovic, Bologna attacker Joshua Zirkzee and RB Leipzig’s Benjamin Sesko, having scouted those players on a regular basis.
Gyokeres, with an £86million release clause, will also be a difficult snare to pull off with Arsenal worried about staying in line with FFP regulations.
Arsenal have rotated between Gabriel Jesus, Kai Havertz, Eddie Nketiah and Leandro Trossard as No.9 this season and have shared the goals out around the team, with Bukayo Saka the leading scorer with 16 goals in all competitions.
That the top scorers list looks as if it will be topped by somebody other than a striker for the second year running has no doubt prompted Arteta’s desire to recruit up top.
Given it looks like it won’t be Toney, the Gunners will be expected to funnel some time into recruiting one of the other options.
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