Ralf Rangnick comments on Jadon Sancho's tough start at Manchester United
Ralf Rangnick is backing Jadon Sancho to become a success at Manchester United and says the solution to the winger’s problems are in his head.
Rangnick told BBC Sport that Sancho is feeling the pressure in games and wants him to play with the freedom he does in training sessions.
The United interim boss said: “It’s more pressure. He also played for one of the biggest clubs in Germany, in Dortmund, but I think in total, the whole league, the whole competition is more physical and the level of expectation is higher.
“I think it’s also got to do with a lot of different things in his head. Whenever I see him train, he’s showing that he’s one of the best players in the training sessions.
“But now it’s about the transfer to when he’s playing and showing the same kind of level and performance on the pitch.”
Sancho battling expectations
Sancho cost United £73 million in the summer and he is yet to live up to the billing. In some ways the expectations were impossible, after United tried and fought to sign him for two years, but even lowering hopes somewhat, the winger has still underwhelmed.
United fans are hoping for a big 2022 from the former England international, and concerns over his start to the year are a little overblown based on a poor cameo against Villa at the weekend.
Sancho missed the previous two games through injury, and the match before that he seemed to have scored against Burnley, before the strike was put down as an own goal.
Rangnick added to United’s website: “I said that to him, by the way, the day before yesterday. ‘Confirm the performances you show in training when you’re playing on the pitch.’”
“Everybody expected from him that he would be one of the best players in the team. Again, this is psychologically, emotionally a more challenging situation than the one he had at Borussia Dortmund, and these are exactly the kind of steps that he has to make to become a top player for the next 10 years for this club.”
Sancho good on left or right says Sancho
Rangnick added that he believes finding Sancho’s best position is not the issue, because he is confident in the winger’s ability to play on the left or right.
He says simply that once Sancho solves the issues in his head and relaxes, it will all start to click for him.
He said: “For me it’s not at all a question of his position, it’s clear that in a 4-3-3 he’s a player for either of the two wing positions, either left or right. He can play both.
“I think he would prefer a little bit the left side, because he can then switch inside and have a go on goal or shoot on goal with his strong foot. But for me, there’s no question, no doubt about his position. He’s a winger. He’s somebody who can dribble fast with ball, and for me it’s not at all a question of which is the best possible position for him.”
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