Latest comments from Borussia Dortmund offer encouragement to Manchester United over a potential club record move for Jadon Sancho.
Dig a little deeper though, and there is a red flag which may prompt United to proceed with a little bit of caution.
Dortmund are beginning to get a little frustrated with Sancho, off the pitch rather than on it.
Sporting director Michel Zorc told SportBILD, as reported by The Telegraph: “Jadon is not only an exceptional footballer who is noticeable on the pitch but now and then also outside of the pitch. Sometimes it’s not easy for us.”
The Evening Standard report Dortmund are frustrated with Sancho’s trips back to England, the most recent of which landed a fine from the German football federation.
Dortmund’s comments suggest they will be content to cash in, if their valuation is met. The Standard say they accept his exit is ‘inevitable’ amid strong United interest.
So far so good, but…
This all looks encouraging for United, but there is certainly a red flag over his off pitch discipline which the club have to manage properly. United can’t go into this with their eyes closed.
The Mail reported last year how Sancho was dropped from Dortmund’s Champions League game against Barcelona after turning up ‘considerably late’.
This followed a late return from international duty, and previous instances of him being demoted to Dortmund’s under-23s in his debut season were brought up, along with a similar transgression for England’s under-19 side.
So timekeeping may not be Sancho’s strong point, and he will have to get this right at Manchester United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will not want a sideshow where one player thinks he is bigger than the rest and the rules do not apply to him.
Solskjaer has reportedly been talking to Sancho’s close pal Marcus Rashford about the winger, The Independent report.
Rashford can be a big influence on Sancho and make sure he meets the standards off the pitch at United.
On the pitch there are no concerns. Sancho has hit 20 goals this season and has 18 assists. He fills a major need for United on the right wing.
At just 20-years-old, issues with his professionalism can be ironed out. In Germany he is likely homesick for England, and a return to Manchester will help him feel settled. He is absolutely a risk worth taking.
There is no reason for United to back off. The move should be a big success. But the club have to be prepared that he may require a little extra man-management, just to make sure his career at the club runs smoothly.
There will be a lot of distractions, and as United’s potential record signing, there will be outside pressures wanting him to fail. Sancho will have to learn to deal with that.
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