We learned today that Jadon Sancho still hasn’t return to full training with the rest of his Manchester United teammates at the Carrington complex.
As it is the eve of the Carabao Cup round of 16 clash with Burnley, this develop obviously means he will not be a part of the squad tomorrow night. Manager Erik ten Hag said the player “wasn’t mentally ready” to return to action.
Manchester United vs Burnley FC FYIs
Competition: League Cup Round of 16
Kickoff: Wed Dec 21, 8pm GMT, Old Trafford, Manchester, UK
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United Starting XI Prediction: go here
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
The Dutchman had said, previously that there is no timeline for the English winger’s return. Sancho was sent to The Netherlands by Ten Hag, to follow an individual training program under the supervision of certain selected coaches, instead of traveling with the rest of the squad to Spain for training over the World Cup break.
He is now even a major doubt for the Boxing Day fixture/return to action on Dec. 27 against Nottingham Forest. Ten Hag had said, on prior occasion that Sancho wasn’t fully match fit, but that sounded more like it was a physical issue.
Now, with reference to his mental state, it sounds like something is going on in his life that is much bigger than football.
Perhaps he is dealing with mental issues, and at this point, you really have to wonder what is going on behind the scenes. Sancho just hasn’t been the same player since the penalty miss in the Euro final shootout loss to Italy in July of 2021. One can’t help but wonder if his confidence was severely shaken by that missed shot and heart-breaking defeat.
For forwards, an incident like that can have long lasting adverse effects.
It also doesn’t help that he was left off the England roster at the World Cup, and that his move to United, from Borussia Dortmund that same summer, hasn’t come anywhere close to panning out.
All the hype and hoopla, the expectations that accompany a deal for really big money (as his deal was, with the transfer fee of $100 million), it can all mentally weigh on a footballer.
Especially when it is isn’t working out. Here’s to hoping, in the New Year, we see a new Jadon Sancho. Hopefully, he can get the help he needs, to become his old self again, and show the world the form that made him such a critical part of the England national team and a very big star at Borussia Dortmund.
We believe that he can.
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.