Jadon Sancho was not a part of the Manchester United squad that trained in Spain, and played two friendlies, both losses, against Cadiz and Real Betis. Manager Erik ten Hag instead sent Sancho to the Netherlands for an individual training program with some coaches that he knows and trusts.
Ten Hag said that Sancho is still currently in the Netherlands working individually with coaches to try and get back to full match fitness. The Dutchman said he doesn’t know when Sancho will be back in game shape.
With the League Cup clash against Burnley (Dec 21) just a week away, well now, less than a week, it is fair to say we most likely won’t see Sancho take part in that affair.
“He’s not fit enough,” Ten Hag said at a media availability in Spain.
“We didn’t see him in the last games for United as he wasn’t in the right fitness state and he is now on an individual programme.
“We want him to finish that and hopefully see him back soon. We want to bring him back as quickly as possible but I can’t give a prognosis of when that will be.”
Ten Hag continued on, assessing the up and down season that Sancho has had.
“He was good [in pre-season] but also when the league started he played some good games like Liverpool, Leicester and Arsenal,” the first year boss continued.
“After we got a drop of level and what happens sometimes you don’t know why or what is causing it.
“That is what we’re doing now, trying to research and now we try to get him back there. It’s a combination of physical but also mental.”
Jadon Sancho, 22, has featured in the first team 10 times through United’s first 14 league games, scoring twice. However, was expected to be the future of the attack (or at least a big part of it) since moving over from Borussia Dortmund last summer for £72m.
Especially with Cristiano Ronaldo now gone, the future is now.
United spent two full years trying to acquire the English international, so expectations are sky high for him. The Sancho transfer sagas were far beyond the point of extreme tedium.
After playing a substantial role in England’s run to the Euro final match last summer, Jadon Sancho was left off the World Cup squad.
“There’s huge competition with England,” he said. “Even at the World Cup, every game is difficult to know who to start because there’s so much talent in the offensive line.
“When you don’t show it week by week you can fall out of the squad, which is what happened.”
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.