Erik ten Hag has backed Jadon Sancho to come good at Manchester United and insists that the England winger has made “good progress” this season.
Sancho, 23, moved to Old Trafford from Borussia Dortmund in a £73million deal in the summer of 2021 but has failed to live up to expectations. After scoring just three times in the Premier League last season, Sancho has plundered five goals in 25 appearances this term under Ten Hag.
Those returns led to former United favourite Dwight Yorke claiming that Sancho is on “borrowed time” and that his long-term future at the club could be in jeopardy.
Speaking to Mirror Football on behalf of aceodds.com earlier this week, Yorke said of Sancho: “Yeah, it’s one of a mystery, really. He had so much potential and hope for the likes of Manchester United. Huge investment, really did an amazing job when he was at Dortmund.
“Somehow the transition from there to Manchester hasn’t really worked out in the way that we all thought it might for him. [He has] really struggled, whether it’s from a mental point of view, which seems to be well documented. He hasn’t really lived up to the price tag.
“So yeah, he’s on borrowed time, I suppose, if you have to be fair in many respects. He hasn’t really produced the goods that we expect him.”
But Ten Hag stepped in to defend Sancho after Manchester United’s emphatic 4-1 win over Chelsea on Thursday night – and he believes the former Manchester City man will only get better as time goes on.
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“He did very well on the right side and I think he played a very good game,” Ten Hag said after the match. “I think Jadon Sancho is one of the players who made progress in the season and there were many players in our squad who made good progress. I think it’s a good base to build further on.”
The Dutchman added that Sancho is capable of starring for Manchester United on either the left flank or the right. Ten Hag continued: “He can do both. I think he prefers to play on the left, but we have seen today he is very good on the right as well.”
While Ten Hag appears to be satisfied with Sancho’s progress this term, the Old Trafford chief is expected to oversee a ruthless cull in the upcoming transfer window.
A whole host of players who have struggled for regular action this term, including Harry Maguire, Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek, could all be sold to generate further funds for Ten Hag to remould his squad.