Jadon Sancho

Jadon Sancho

Jadon Malik Sancho

Current Club: Manchester United.

Previous Clubs: Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City, Watford.

Loan Clubs: N/A.

International: England 23 caps 3 goals.

Trophies Won: German FA Cup 2020/21. English League Cup 2023. German Super Cup 2019/20. Under-17 World Cup 2017.

I remember my surprise when Man Utd showed interest in signing him and people were talking about what a great prospect he was, wondering if I was getting him mistaken and mixed up with another player. Watching him play I would see a player that could come in and make an impression as a sub very late in games against tired legs, though even then it came with caveats. Mostly that the defending in the Bundesliga at the time was often chronically bad. So bad, in fact, that I actually watched him once running with the ball and a defender made a sliding tackle away from him to leave a big space for him to run through one-on-one with the keeper.

Even so, his performances were never particularly outstanding, though his stats were very good, in fact he is a very good example of just how misleading stats can be when taken without any context. When he started a match, not even stats could cover up just how ineffective he was, as well as the very worrying trend of being short of fitness and tiring badly after the first 30 minutes. His stepovers could not cover up a lack of genuine talent, not just at taking people on, he also had little vision, his passing range was poor and his decision making was worse.

On top of all that, he was weak, lacked effort and generally looked like a player who was only interested in doing half a job and anything he was not on doing he would just not bother with. Such as tracking back, challenging for the ball or anything else that involved breaking a sweat. All of that on top of a clear problem attitude he displayed, with petulance being very prominent in his game. No doubt the reason why he was so often on the bench.

Certainly it was something that Man City thought, Pep Guardiola being very clear that he did not want him after watching him play while he was still there. Guardiola was not at all keen on his entitled attitude and the way he lacked effort, on top of not being the best trainer and being known for his excuses to explain why he was late or missed training. It was those problems that saw him end up at Dortmund, as English clubs were wary of him as coaches do talk to each other after all.

You have to wonder how many of those problems stem from City paying a fee for him at such a young age, when they signed him from Watford. It is extremely rare for a youngster signed at a young age by a big club to make it, they tend to lose their way as they feel like (even if just subconsciously) that they have already made it. I feel it is counterproductive to even target transfers at ages below first team level, so few of them turn out to be a good investment and it also stalls the development of players already in the youth set up. Certainly Sancho's development since his move to Man City is a warning to clubs about the dangers inherent in signing youngsters.

But what would really worry me is that his off-field attitude problems were well known and his petulance on the pitch was clearly visible to anyone who bothered to actually watch him play regularly, along with his actual lack of genuine quality, so why did Man Utd decide to sign him? Certainly since he has joined them, nothing has happened to prove my initial impression of him wrong. There is still a very noticeable attitude problem, there is still a lack of quality to his play and his effort is non-existent. It is little surprise that his petulance has led to off field issues with the coach, except maybe that it took so long to come to a head.

While Sancho is not the cause of the Red Devil's ineptitude recently, he is very much symptomatic of the malaise at the heart of the club that has seen it slipping further and further away from the summit of the game every year. It is players like him that need to be excised from the squad if it is to ever recover and become a team that once more challenges for the league title on a regular basis. His only value to the club is as a reminder to do your due diligence on a player in the future before signing them, especially if you are paying such a huge fee.

Requested by - Longthing76, TrueRedDevil, Nathlfc