Manchester United winger Jadon Sancho has been praised by boss Erik ten Hag after the defeat to Borussia Dortmund.
United were in pre-season action in the early hours of Monday morning, taking on Borussia Dortmund at Allegiant Stadium in Nevada.
Diogo Dalot’s opener put United ahead, only for two Donyell Malen goals in a matter of seconds to flip the game on its head.
Antony levelled it for United in the second half but Youssoufa Moukoko grabbed a winner for the Bundesliga side.
Erik ten Hag won’t exactly be happy with a 3-2 defeat but he has offered praise for one United player.
Erik ten Hag hails Jadon Sancho
Ten Hag went with Jadon Sancho as a makeshift striker, as he has on a number of occasions in pre-season.
Sancho wasn’t able to get on the scoresheet against his former club but Ten Hag is still happy with him.
Ten Hag has told the Manchester Evening News that he feels Sancho is in a ‘very good vibe’ right now.
The Dutchman praised Sancho’s energy, believing that he is really looking to enjoy his football at United.
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Sancho isn’t all that different from his Dortmund days in the eyes of Ten Hag, even if the numbers suggest otherwise.
Ten Hag did though call on Sancho to be more consistent, believing he still has to take his game to a higher level yet.
“The Bundesliga is perfect preparation for the Premier League. It’s tougher [in the Premier League],” said Ten Hag. “I saw many games at Dortmund and Jadon is not such a different player in Dortmund as he is here. But also for him, he has to get more consistency in his performance but he has to do it at a higher level.”
“In this moment he is in a very good vibe. He decides how he is, how his mood and vibe is. He has a lot of energy, we have all seen that from the moment he came back. He wants to enjoy football and be successful,” he added.
Sancho faces make or break season
Sancho appeared to be a vital signing for United when a £73million move from Borussia Dortmund went through in 2021.
How could United fans not be excited?
50 goals and 64 assists in 137 Dortmund games was a simply outstanding record and many were excited to see him in the Premier League.
Sancho hasn’t replicated that success though, managing only 12 goals and six assists in 79 games for United.
A player can’t be judged on numbers alone but Sancho certainly hasn’t been having the impact he had at Dortmund.
Sancho sometimes appeared to take the safe option in a United shirt, though we have seen patches of his brilliance.
Now heading into his third season at United, Sancho needs to deliver soon.
Ten Hag clearly thinks highly of Sancho but he also can’t wait forever as the 23-year-old seeks his best form.
This season needs to be the one for Sancho to really step up and justify the price tag – or United may well look to move him on in 2024.