Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s red card in the 2-1 defeat away to Young Boys in the opening game of this season’s Champions League campaign for Manchester United meant that Jadon Sancho was sacrificed for Diogo Dalot.
The £73m signing (BBC Sport) from Dortmund has had an indifferent start to life at Old Trafford, but there is no doubt it will all fall into place for Sancho.
However, the match in Switzerland wouldn’t have been the way Sancho envisaged his Champions League debut for Manchester United going.
How was Sancho playing before he was brought off?
There were times when Sancho linked up really well with Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes. United’s second shot on target in the first half, which proved to be our last in the match came through Ronaldo, but it was due to Sancho getting the ball into Fernandes nice and early that the counter attack was made possible.
However, there were also several occasions when Sancho was dispossessed or he was wasteful in possession.
He didn’t register one key pass or complete a dribble (WhoScored), which is very unlike a player that possesses such creative flair.
There were moments where Sancho’s body language painted the picture of someone who was trying to hard, he looked hesitant to run at players which may indicate his confidence is quite low.
Does playing in front of Wan-Bissaka benefit him?
When Wan-Bissaka was lacking options in possession or was unsure what to do next, he often fired the ball down the line to Sancho who had a defender right up his backside.
Sancho’s best performance in a United shirt to date came on Saturday against Newcastle when he was on the left in front of Luke Shaw.
Unlike Wan-Bissaka, Shaw’s attacking influence and desire to get forward is rapidly accelerating as his career progresses.
Shaw’s willingness and movement to contribute to United’s attacking play means that him bombing beyond Sancho gives the England winger more time and space to hurt the opposition.
Tuesday’s performance might mean that Sancho starts on the left against West Ham United and Mason Greenwood starts on the right.
Sancho needs a slice of luck at Manchester United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s forward line looks devastating and that’s without Sancho anywhere near his best.
Once the 21-year-old clicks into action, United and Ronaldo in particular could become unstoppable.
Sancho isn’t the type of player to go hiding, he is still looking to get on the ball and has shown positive moments with his interplay and ability to strike fear into opponents just by running at them.
Once he registers his first assist or bundles the ball home for the first time as a Manchester United player, the shackles will loosen and the man who took the world by storm in Germany will have finally arrived at Old Trafford and will be tormenting defences once again.
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