Manchester United remain strongly linked with a move for Jadon Sancho and the hope is that this season, the Dortmund winger will finally head to Old Trafford.
Sancho has just two years remaining on his contract and The Athletic report his top preference is to sign with United over any other club.
Dortmund appear willing to cash in, The Telegraph even claimed they are ‘desperate’ to do so – and while it is early days, the situation is no closer to being resolved from United’s end.
A fee could cost anywhere from £75 million to £90 million depending on reports, which would be cheaper than Dortmund’s £108m asking price.
But we know all of this already, and supporters are understandably a little frustrated already with a lack of progress as United’s end so far. So the purpose here is to take a look at Sancho’s numbers from his career as a whole and the Bundesliga season which has just been completed, delving into why United could splash close to a club record fee on his services…
Outstanding figures for a young player
United fans saw with Cristiano Ronaldo that young attacking players can take a little while to reach their peak. Sancho is putting up numbers better than Ronaldo did at a young age.
Sancho has 50 career goals for Dortmund, setting records along the way. He became the youngest ever Bundesliga player to score 15 goals, and he has continued that fine progress.
Earlier this season Sancho surpassed the 50 assists mark too, managing to do so in 99 Bundesliga games. This made him the youngest and fastest ever player to reach the milestone.
Sancho is only 21-years-old and this apprenticeship at Dortmund has set him up perfectly for the upcoming challenge at Manchester United.
A stunning season
Sancho’s season began slowly amid the fallout from missing out on a move to United last summer, and yet he ended it with outstanding figures after really kicking on in 2021. All eight of Sancho’s Bundesliga goals came in 2021.
Sancho scored 16 goals and provided 19 assists in all competitions, 35 goal contributions in total.
Three of these came in the German Cup final in which he scored two goals and provided one assist in a 4-1 win over RB Leipzig. This victory allows him to sign off at Dortmund with a smile, knowing that he contributed to the team’s success as well as just his own individual development.
In the Champions League, Sancho scored two goals and provided three assists in six games before injury ruled him out of Dortmund’s last three knockout games including both legs of the defeat against City.
Versatility and creativity
Sancho’s impressive performance in the German Cup final saw him line up on the left wing. This highlighted his versatility to play both wings which is so appealing to Manchester United.
It is not simply a Sancho or Mason Greenwood debate on the right if the Dortmund winger signs. The debate will differ from game to game whether he replaces Greenwood on the right, or Marcus Rashford on the left. This will be good for competition and help Rashford get more necessary rest.
Sancho’s ability to create chances is what United need. While the team scored the second highest number of Premier League goals this past season (73), this was inflated by netting 15 in two matches against Southampton and Leeds.
There were too many tight games United did not score in, failing to net in both matches against Chelsea, Arsenal, at home to City and away at Liverpool. A player like Sancho can play a key role in helping United to break these kind of defences down.
Data from FBRef.com shows Sancho made more successful passes into the penalty box (82) than any Bundesliga player last season, and he also dribbled the ball into the final third the highest number of times (81).
The FBRef.com scouting report shows Sancho to be among the elite players among his position group in Europe’s top five leagues.
- Sancho is in the top one per cent of players for passes completed
- Top two per cent of players for distance carried
- Top two per cent of players for assists
- Top three per cent of players for dribbles attempted
- Top three per cent for progressive passes
- Top four per cent for shot creating actions
These are all attacking traits which can help United to hurt teams in the final third, and highlight that Sancho is equally comfortable carrying possession himself or passing to another player in a strong position.
Mixing Sancho in with a deadly striker like Edinson Cavani, and the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford, and United’s attack will have a very complete feel at long last.
There’s one more factor at play too…
Landing Sancho has the potential to benefit United in the future, when it comes to Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham, who have both enjoyed their time playing alongside him at Dortmund.
There are no guarantees either would join United, but Sancho’s presence at Old Trafford cannot hurt. Getting Sancho in, is the first step.
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