Imagine being told a year ago Jadon Sancho would sign for Manchester United and would end up being a mere footnote on the club’s summer transfer business. Even being told this at the start of the summer would get a number of bemused responses.
That is the Cristiano Ronaldo effect. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is a global superstar of the level to which Sancho can only at this point aspire to reach.
For Sancho, that is no disrespect, it’s simply fact. Ronaldo has achieved so much and the young winger can learn a lot from playing alongside a true great.
It will benefit Sancho hugely when it comes to pressure, scrutiny, and the press.
If Sancho had joined United last summer, he would have been the big signing and would have cost more than £100 million.
This time around United got him for a still expensive £73 million, but also a fee which did not break any records, and there is no added pressure as a result.
The addition of Raphael Varane has arguably excited fans even more, with a truly world class proven defender joining the backline.
Now Ronaldo’s move takes excitement to a whole new level, and allows Sancho to almost fade into the background. This is precisely what he needs.
The pressure is off
If Manchester United are not winning, there is one player who will get the blame from the media; Cristiano Ronaldo.
Rightly or wrongly, it’s just how the press work, and Ronaldo is big enough to take it.
This is far better than the press targeting Sancho, who is just 21, and is going to be playing in the Premier League for the first time this season.
Sancho can go about his business with less scrutiny, and more of an added bonus, one of Ronaldo’s many sidekicks.
The former Dortmund winger can grow into a bigger role and succeed Ronaldo when he leaves.
No 7 a blessing
It is just as well he was not given the number 7 shirt when he signed, wearing 25 instead.
It seems to be an inspired decision. While just a number, there would be intense scrutiny on Sancho to outperform Ronaldo or at least match him, if he were wearing the number 7.
Edinson Cavani is big enough to take all the criticism and pressure if he retains 7. Jadon Sancho at 21 doesn’t need all the extra attention.
The way all this has worked out for Sancho has been perfect. Instead of being the player United are relying on, he is the club’s secret weapon instead.
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