Manchester United have yet to sign a striker this summer which has caused Erik ten Hag to get creative.
In the meantime, Jadon Sancho has been filling in up front, scoring in the victory over Arsenal at the weekend.
Reinventing Jadon Sancho
Jadon Sancho is a big talent, that’s why Manchester United spent £73 million on him two years ago. But fans are yet to see the best of him.
Earlier this year Ten Hag experimented with Sancho in an attacking midfield role. Now he is utilising him in a free role in the front three.
The Athletic report: “His trial in the position is a genuine attempt by Ten Hag to see if he could perform the role on a regular basis when the Premier League season kicks off.”
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Ten Hag’s new Dusan Tadic?
Jadon Sancho may simply be an emergency stop-gap in this role. But this is also a trial Erik ten Hag has succeeded with before at Ajax.
Ten Hag selected Serbian winger Dusan Tadic in a free-ranging forward role which saw him line up as a striker as frequently as he did out wide.
Tadic was a huge success, scoring 92 goals in 194 games under Erik ten Hag, plus per Transfermarkt, a further 91 assists.
Jadon Sancho has a long way to go to reach these levels, but if he can demonstrate the same type of clinical finishing as he did in the win over Arsenal at the weekend, then Ten Hag might just be onto something.
A famous phrase is ‘Necessity is the mother of invention‘, and Manchester United’s need to find a striker solution has pushed Ten Hag into experimenting with Sancho. Now it is up to the 23-year-old to grasp the opportunity, in the same way Tadic once did.