Jadon Sancho’s Manchester United career to date has been disappointing. But it is worth remembering he is still only 21 and is settling back into English football having left as a 17-year-old.
Now Marcus Rashford is back – and scoring – Sancho may struggle for starts. But that is not necessarily a bad thing.
On Wednesday, Sancho played his part in a stunning comeback. The fact that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sent him on with United trailing 2-1 speaks volumes.
Two minutes later, United were level. And they went on to win with another late Cristiano Ronaldo strike.
If Sancho did not have the faith of his manager, he would have been overlooked for someone else. But could what happened last week be a sign of things to come – at least in the short term?
The United boss knows a thing or two about coming off the bench.
Solskjaer may be United’s greatest and most effective super-sub of all time. And he could be the perfect teacher as Sancho looks to make his mark.
That United may bench a £73million signing (BBC) shows just how much attacking talent the club has.
Eventually, Sancho should become one of the first names on the team sheet. Yet it would do him no harm to step out of the spotlight and come on later in games for the next few months.
Patience is key
Great wingers take time to find their best form. Okay, so Ronaldo was dazzling from the outset. But it took years for him to turn his tricks and flicks into phenomenal end product.
Sancho is already in his 20s and was outstanding for Borussia Dortmund. But the Premier League is a different beast and United are a very different side.
Sancho’s work rate is not in question. His pressing is exemplary and has been learned in a well-drilled Dortmund team. Now he needs to rediscover his scoring touch.
Coming off the bench against tired defences could be the ideal solution. So do not be surprised if Solskjaer works with Sancho on how to make the most impact off the bench.
It may not be what United fans expected when he first arrived. But patience and smart tactics are vital while Sancho gets used to life back in Manchester. This time as one of the world’s most expensive players.