Three ways Manchester United can fit Jadon Sancho into a 3-5-2 formation

Jadon Sancho’s start at Manchester United probably has not been as he hoped.

His absence from the starting line-up at the weekend was another blow, and caused plenty of debate despite United’s 3-0 win.

Gary Neville told Sky Sports he fears Sancho may end up like perpetual substitute Donny van de Beek.

United’s shift to a 3-5-2 does not help. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side lined up without wingers, and so it became harder to fit Sancho in.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

It’s unclear if United will stick with the formation. If so, it’s not ideal for Sancho. It’s not the complete blow some will make it out to be either.

Here is a look at three ways United can fit Sancho into a 3-5-2 formation…

Play him up front

If United can select Dan James up front as one of two forwards in a 3-5-2, then Sancho can feature in this position too.

United could play Sancho up top and spread the forwards wide, encouraging midfielders to join the attack through the centre.

The drawback is the amount of competition there is already up front, with Ronaldo, Cavani, Rashford, Greenwood, and Martial all competing for these two spots.

In the Fernandes role

Bruno Fernandes could start every game if Solskjaer had it his way, but it probably isn’t wise.

Jesse Lingard is first in line behind Fernandes, but this could be a role to let Sancho try and cause havoc too.

Dortmund played Sancho in this central attacking role 19 times, per Transfermarkt, in which he scored five goals and provided four assists.

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Convert to wing-back

Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka played as United’s wing-backs at the weekend, but the team could adopt a more attacking approach.

Sancho could potentially be asked to adapt to play at right wing-back and do a defensive job while trying to unlock defences at the other end.

This is not a role Sancho is used to and it will require some learning. But this may be the position in the 3-5-2 where Sancho stands the best chance of becoming a regular.

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