Jadon Sancho’s Manchester United future has been a source of consistent talk over the summer, with rumours linking the forward with moves away from United as the 22-year-old continues to struggle at Old Trafford.
However, during pre-season, which has always been the way to discover new tactical tweaks or maybe an idea that the manager wouldn’t dare try in the Premier League, Sancho has seemingly found his calling.
The former Dortmund winger has been deployed as a false nine during pre-season and it seems to have potential to develop.
Sancho’s creativity, composure and ability to exploit gaps in the opposition’s defence means he can be a reliable option for United.
Sancho’s number 10 experiment
During the second half of last season, Sancho came on as a second-half substitute against Leicester City and was deployed as the attacking midfielder, with Bruno Fernandes being shifted to the right-hand side.
Straightaway, there seemed potential in the move to make the former Manchester City player a potential number 10 option. His creativity, as well as having more of the pitch available to him, unlike if he were deployed on the left or right-hand side, meant it had potential.
However, it became clear, quite soon, that Bruno Fernandes off the right, which was where he was deployed when Sancho was in the attacking midfield role, did not work.
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Sancho a striker option
Amid the impending arrival of Rasmus Hojlund, Sancho has shown signs of life and potential in the false nine role and could well be an option if the Dane’s adaptation to life in the Premier League takes longer than expected.
One thing that is also surprising is his newfound aggression off the ball. The relative lack of it has frustrated the United faithful has been a constant in pre-season.
The striker experiment may well be something that could be deployed going forward, Sancho’s intelligence, ability to link the play and composure may well lead to him being an option going forward this season.
It seems that Erik ten Hag has high hopes for the former Dortmund man, too.
“At this moment he is in a very good vibe,” the United boss said following United’s defeat to Dortmund.