Jadon Sancho at Manchester United? That’s most likely a closed chapter. So the winter transfer window could be a liberation for the English winger. There are many interested parties for his services, Juventus are the most talked about, but a return to Dortmund, from which Donyell Malen could go in the opposite direction, is not unrealistic.
In 2017, Dortmund’s management sent nearly 21 million euros to Manchester City’s account for the 17-year-old Englishman. In his very first season in Germany, Sancho peeked into the A-team. He also played a few games for Borussia’s under-19 team and B-team. However, the expected moment came on 21 October, when the skilful winger came on for his first 6 minutes in elite football in a duel with Frankfurt.
By the end of the 2017/18 season, the then-English teenager added 11 more starts in which he collected a total of 685 minutes. He thus started 12 games and played all 12 of them right away! Among other things, he managed to score a goal and an impressive 4 assists.
In the following season, Sancho was already a solid part of Dortmund’s starting eleven. He even scored his opening goal in the Champions League when he contributed to a 4-0 win against Atlético Madrid. However, the German side were knocked out of the millionaire competition in the eighth round when they fell to Tottenham in London.
In the Bundesliga, Sancho has done incredibly well. He played in all 34 games and scored 12 goals and 18 assists. He was one of the few players in Europe to have double-digit goals and assists. Even then, there was already speculation about a possible return to the Isles.
However, the breakthrough year was the next one. In one season Sancho reached 20 goals and 20 assists. Until then, we were used to such a record mostly only with Lionel Messi, who usually had such numbers. Jadon’s last season in Dortmund didn’t offer such numbers, though, as it brought a slight deterioration, but 17 goals and 20 assists is not bad either.
The Englishman arrived at Old Trafford in the summer of 2021 for nearly 120 million euros, so expectations were high. However, the first problems came immediately in the first season. Sancho did not do well, he didn’t dare in 1-on-1 duels and rather opted for pragmatic passes back to the edge defender.
So he scored his first goal in the red jersey on 23 November in the Champions League at the Spanish Villarreal in a 0:2 win. Solskjaer tried to find the right position for the winger, so Sancho played from the left, from the right, but nowhere was it like in Dortmund. The only lucky thing was that Rashford was even less successful, so Jadon was at least in the starting lineup.
He didn’t play much last season though. He even spent a large part of it in the Netherlands, where he was working on his mental health. It has to be said that he looked better on the pitch before that than he did the season before, and he came back in style after his stay – scoring a goal in the Leeds net.
The story of this season is already known to all. Erik ten Hag said in the post-match press conference after one of the games when the Englishman wasn’t even on the bench that Sancho wasn’t training as he should. However, the player himself denied the statement on his social media and we haven’t seen him in a Red Devils jersey since. Ten Hag demanded an apology, but he didn’t get one, so everything will probably be resolved after his departure from Manchester.
Sancho for Mallen?
One of the possible suitors for Sancho is supposed to be the aforementioned Borussia Dortmund. Ten Hag is reportedly a big admirer of Dutch striker Donyell Mallen. The 24-year-old Dutchman has scored 5 goals and 2 assists this season. In total, he has thus scored 24 goals and 16 assists in 92 starts in the yellow and black jersey.
According to the Daily Mail, Dortmund are demanding €30 million for their player or just the English winger. This plays into Manchester United’s hands as they would be getting rid of Sancho anyway.
However, there has also been a lot of talk about a similar swap with Juventus, in which Federico Chiesa would play a role.
Source: Bundesliga, Premier League, Twitter, Daily Mail
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