Three reasons why Jadon Sancho will be desperate to grab Manchester derby headlines

Jadon Sancho was probably the most high-profile Manchester United player to remain at Carrington during the international break.

Both David de Gea and Donny van de Beek also failed to receive international call-ups, and their chances of securing a place in Spain and the Netherlands’ respected World Cup squads looks bleak.

But with club football returning this weekend, Erik ten Hag’s side get straight back down to business with a mouth-watering trip to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, to face fierce rivals Manchester City.

Ahead of Sunday’s 2pm kick off against the Citizens, we take a look at three reasons why Jadon Sancho will be desperate to grab Manchester derby headlines.

Jadon Sancho will be desprate to grab Manchester derby headlines

World Cup spot on the line

Photo by Alex Morton – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Gareth Southgate may have rewarded Marcus Rashford for his impressive early season form with an England recall, had the forward not picked up a muscle injury against Arsenal at the start of the month.

It seems that Sancho may have even more work to do than Rashford to book a place on the plane to Qatar with the Three Lions.

The 22-year-old has three goals from eight appearances this season, the last of which came in the 2-0 Europa League win against Sheriff Tiraspol, which was just hours after Southgate had named his England squad for this month’s UEFA Nations League games.

But with places still up for grabs in the England squad, Sancho has to believe he’s in control of his own destiny, and if he continues his rich vein of form up until Southgate names his squad, then he should fancy his chances of forming part of the 26-man squad.

The Red Devils have just six matches before Southgate names his World Cup squad on Thursday, 20 October, so Sancho simply has to make every game count.

Playing former club

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Despite Pep Guardiola being in charge of the blue half of Manchester, Sancho left the Citizens and joined Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund in August 2017.

His brave decision to move to Germany more than paid off, and he became one of the hottest properties in Europe during his time at Signal Iduna Park.

Sancho, who never made an appearance for the City first team, scored 50 goals and laid on 64 assists from 137 games for Dortmund before finally sealing a £73m move to Old Trafford, 12 months after the Red Devils had tried so desperately to bring him back to Manchester.

On his first senior appearance at the Etihad, which came in March, Sancho drew United level with an inch perfect finish into the bottom corner before United went on to lose 4-1 under interim boss Ralf Rangnick.

Sancho’s career trajectory certainly benefited from him opting to leave City and moving abroad, but he’ll no doubt be hoping to make it two goals in as many appearances at his former employers home ground.

Hoping to come out on top against former Dortmund teammates

Photo by Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images

Alongside Jude Bellingham, Sancho and Manchester City’s blockbuster summer signing Erling Haaland formed a deadly trio during their time together at Dortmund.

But come Sunday afternoon, Sancho and the Norwegian superstar will be doing their utmost to ensure their respected team comes out on top and gain the bragging rights.

With all the attention and build-up to the game fixated on Haaland’s phenomenal start to life in England, Sancho will be desperate to oust his former attacking partner with an influential display.

As well as coming up against Haaland, Sancho could face fellow ex-Dortmund man Manuel Akanji who also joined the Citizens this summer.

With the footballing world likely coming to a standstill to watch one of the biggest games on the planet, Sancho has the opportunity and platform to steal the show and give everyone a timely reminder of the match-winning qualities he possesses.

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Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.