Jadon Sancho Finally Shows Why He Could be a United Building Block

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Michael Carrick won his first game in charge (on an interim basis) of Manchester United last night, and depending on who you talk to, it was either Jadon Sancho or Cristiano Ronaldo who was man of the match. Both forwards scored goals in United’s 2-0 UCL group stage win over Villarreal, and you can debate whether it was Sancho or Ronaldo who was the true MOTM.

What’s not debatable is that a. United are once again in a rebuild and b. Ronaldo is the present, but not the future in regards to that rebuild. He’s the talisman right now, but at his age, someone else will have to assume that position in the future.

Who that is remains in question, as we don’t even know who the next manager will be yet. In terms of the next star man, could it be Sancho?

The English winger, acquired at the end of June from Borussia Dortmund, finally scored his first goal in a Red Devils shirt last night.

“To finish it off, Jadon was brilliant,” Carrick said of Sancho’s goal.

“I know how much Jadon loves the ball at his feet and trying to make things happen, it’s where he’s happiest.”

“But on the other side of the game, he put a real effort in defense and it was a big night for him.”

The former BVB man, linked with a move to Old Trafford for two whole years ahead of his actual transfer, has yet to register an assist, in 15 appearances with the club.

However, maybe last night could be the start of something special?

Could we see the Sancho we knew and loved at Dortmund?

Quoting Press Association:

“I think he’ll be better off for tonight, playing how he played,” Carrick said, before replicating a tick of the man he has just replaced in the United dugout by trailing off in his answer, as if mildly and momentarily awestruck.

“The goal is the obvious one and for Jadon himself, it’ll give him a massive boost, but I thought his performance overall…” That little pause there, that means he thought it was good.

Sancho arrived with a ton of hype and fanfare, but obviously hasn’t come close to living up to it. However, he had an overall phenomenal game yesterday, beyond and away from the goal he scored. Maybe now he is turning the corner?

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

He has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and co-hosts the After Extra Time podcastFollow him on Twitter and Instagram

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