If Jadon Sancho was not already a Manchester United player, the winger would likely be top of Erik ten Hag’s wishlist.
With the Dutchman set to take over in the summer, Sancho can be one of the big winners when Ten Hag takes over at Old Trafford.
The winger has had a mixed debut season at Old Trafford, arriving just before the moment Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s stint as manager imploded.
It has then all been under interim boss Ralf Rangnick, who has played a part in Sancho showing glimpses of his best form, but he has a long way to go.
Only just getting started
Sancho was on the bench in midweek due to United’s first half formation shift to a back three against Liverpool, and when he came on, he was the only Red Devils player who looked dangerous.
The winger has scored five goals this season and provided three assists, modest numbers by what he is capable of.
In Sancho’s last season at Borussia Dortmund he scored 16 goals and provided 19 assists, and the previous year scored 20 goals and 18 assists.
Ten Hag can play a key role in helping Sancho reach that same level of production in the Premier League, and when he does, he will be an absolutely terrifying player for opponents to face.
Sancho could be helped by the arrival of another winger, with Ten Hag reported by The Telegraph to be eyeing up Ajax winger Antony. With Amad and Facundo Pellistri set to re-enter the mix in pre-season at least, Sancho will extra support and competition.
Having another top winger on the opposite flank will benefit Sancho, as opponents will have to gameplan to stop both of them, and with each moment of success his confidence will grow.
Wingers are key to Ten Hag’s preferred style of play, and the way the Dutch boss likes them to cut inside, to create space for the full-backs to attack, suits Sancho too.
Ralf Rangnick believes Sancho has made the jump after initially struggling with the league’s physicality, telling the club website last month: “He told me that of course it was a problem for him to get adjusted to the intensity of the league, to the physicality of the league. Now he has managed to do that. I’m happy to see him play at that kind of level right now.”
How Ten Hag can reinvigorate Sancho
Man management is a key part of Ten Hag’s coaching attributes and he believes he can motivate his players to reach their high potential.
Speaking to Dutch Soccer Site, he explained how he does this: “‘By confronting them constantly with the agreement you made with the player. I always try and find their motivation.
“What do you want to achieve and how will you do it? Quincy Promes, at Go Ahead Eagles. He knew exactly what he wanted and what he needed to do for it. Tremendously ambitious, that kid. And still, I had to battle with him every day.”
Sancho will benefit from Ten Hag’s coaching and motivation, with the manager planning to work closely with individual players for the good of the team as a whole.
United invested a lot in Sancho, and he is at the club on a long-term deal. The fee invested could really pay off in the years ahead.