Encouraging media reports over Jadon Sancho potentially joining Manchester United in the summer feel too good to be true.
The Mirror report United are Sancho’s first choice. The club should assume nothing, as a lot can change between now and May.
There is a serious threat in Liverpool’s reported interest, with The Mail claiming Jurgen Klopp would like to sign him in the summer.
Sadly Liverpool’s league position and current success is going to be appealing to Sancho.
There is no guarantee he signs for us – even if the prospect of playing more regularly, more money, and being the star player appeals.
Learn from Haaland mistake
Right now there is a risk United put all their eggs in Jadon Sancho’s basket.
The club did this in January with Erling Haaland and it backfired. There was no back-up option for the striker and United were left chasing around on deadline day desperately trying to get anybody in.
One perfect fall back option has just been snapped up. Hakim Ziyech is now off the table after he was signed by Chelsea.
There’s no clear cut alternative to Sancho which raises the stakes in the race to sign him.
United have to find a second choice though, and a third, and a fourth. The right wing position has been neglected for far too long at Old Trafford and needs to be solved this summer.
Who are the alternatives?
In addition to Ziyech, a couple of possibilities went off the market in January.
Barcelona signed Braga winger Trincao, and Tottenham signed PSV star Steven Bergwijn.
One top option would be Adama Traore, but Wolves would not let him go easily. Bringing back Wilfried Zaha might even be considered.
AZ Alkmaar winger Calvin Stengs (above) is looking good. The 21-year-old has nine goals and nine assists this season.
Villarreal star Samuel Chukwueze is another very talented winger who should be considered along with Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey.
None of these players have quite the same ability as Sancho but each of them would be an improvement on United’s current options at the position.
Hopefully the Sancho chase comes good, but United cannot assume it does.
In the event he chooses to sign elsewhere, United have to be prepared and move quickly to sign the next player on the list.
With months to prepare, and a harsh lesson learned in January over Haaland, United have no excuses.
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