Jadon Sancho to Manchester United: Is it the Right Move?

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Jadon Sancho
DUESSELDORF, GERMANY - JUNE 13: Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund runs with the ball during the Bundesliga match between Fortuna Duesseldorf and Borussia Dortmund at Merkur Spiel-Arena on June 13, 2020 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images)

Jadon Sancho has been tearing it up in Germany since his move to Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City. This season, the young English winger has 20 goals and as many assists for 40 goal contributions in 43 matches. Performances like these spark rumours and interest from some of the world’s top clubs, including one of the Manchester sides. Is Sancho to Manchester United a good move for both parties?

According to Transfermarkt, his market value sits at a whopping $128 million, a giant transfer fee, but one which could prove to be worth it if he reaches his potential. United may even be willing to wait for the price to drop, with Mail Online and ESPN reporting that they want to pay less than £100 million. The ex-City academy player could be a part of the next group of generational talents with the likes of Kylian Mbappé and Erling Braut Haaland.

Would Manchester United be the Right Move for Jadon Sancho?

Looking for a Transfer

Since his contract at Borussia Dortmund runs until 2022, Sancho has plenty of options, which include seeing out his contract to further his development. Nevertheless, he seems to be tempted to force a move to a ”bigger” club, and many are interested in his services. In contrast to his academy days, the red side of Manchester looks to be the most likely move for him.

Recently, Sancho spent most of Dortmund’s game against RB Leipzig on the bench, increasing speculations of a move to his home country. According to German journalist Heiko Wasser on Twitter, the unusual stint on the sideline happened because his mind is already at Old Trafford. The winger came on late as his team secured second place behind Bayern Munich with a brace from Haaland, but failed to put his name on the scoresheet.

Unfortunately, Manchester United are no longer the giant they once were. To add to the disappointment, many players came to the club in recent years to try and bring them back to the top, but none were able to handle the pressure. Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao and Alexis Sanchez all became a shadow of their former selves when they joined the Red Devils, and we can only hope the same doesn’t happen to Sancho. On the flip side, he has stepped up in some big games this season, scoring and assisting against Bayern in a 2-0 DFL-Supercup final victory and providing four goal contributions in eight appearances in the Champion’s League.

Jadon Sancho: The Perfect Fit?

For United, signing Jadon Sancho would be an amazing piece of business. Their first fixture since the return of the Premier League, a 1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur, proved yet again that they need more creativity in the front three. Sancho’s stats speak for themselves: he creates a lot of opportunities and scores plenty himself. Looking at it from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s standpoint, he has contributed more to Dortmund than Mason Greenwood and Dan James combined for the Red Devils.

The pair, who share the game time on the right flank, are not playing in their preferred positions, which leaves United without a true right-winger to fill the shoes of players like David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo. James is better suited to cut in from the left, and Greenwood spent most of his academy days up front. Sancho coming would reduce their game time, but it would allow both to come on and make an impact in their favourite role.

The downside of Jadon Sancho joining the squad is his defensive work rate. James and Greenwood both average more tackles per 90. However, Sancho completes more interceptions per game than all of United’s attacking options. Fortunately, Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a defensive specialist, and help on the flank is not often required when defending.

The Youth Movement

Another positive for United is Sancho’s age. Since his arrival as manager, Solskjaer has promoted the use of young players throughout the squad in an attempt to make the club successful now and in the future. At 20-years-old, the English winger fits this ideology perfectly. Just like Martial and Rashford, he is good enough to play upon arrival whilst being young enough to stay in the squad for many years to come.

The real problem lies in game time for other young players. Greenwood, James, Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes could all suffer from his arrival. In contrast, every team performing at the highest level needs to be very deep to combat the high number of fixtures, and United could use one more world-class player. Between the Premier League, FA and League Cups, and potentially the Champions League, there is plenty of game time to pass around.

Whilst not being their former selves, Manchester United seems like a decent move for Jadon Sancho’s career since he would play an important role, the pressure would be high and so would be game-time – all important things for a player’s development. For the record 13 times Premier League winners, he could be the key to a return to success. The only question is transfer fee: is he worth the investment?

 

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