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It’s early days for Sancho at Man Utd… but Solskjaer needs everyone up & running NOW and £73m winger must deliver soon

, It’s early days for Sancho at Man Utd… but Solskjaer needs everyone up & running NOW and £73m winger must deliver soon

IN THE 75th minute on Wednesday night Jadon Sancho’s number went up and the Old Trafford fans gave him a standing ovation as he was subbed.

Quite what he had done to deserve such applause is another thing but they can be a very generous crowd.

Manchester United winger Jadon Sancho is still adjusting to life at Old Trafford
Sancho was hooked after 75 minutes against Villarreal in the Champions League on Wednesday night

You should have heard the reception Radamel Falcao used to get.

But much was expected of one of the club’s biggest signings in history and while it is very early days, Sancho has not delivered.

The 2-1 win over Villarreal was another example.

So far in five starts and three substitute appearances he has yet to produce a goal or assist in 403 minutes for United.

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He has completed just one full 90 minutes for the club — the 1-0 Carabao Cup defeat to West Ham when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer completely changed his starting XI from the win over the Hammers the previous weekend.

In his eight appearances, United have scored 16 goals but only FIVE when he is on the pitch. 

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And you struggle to remember him even beating a man.

It is as well for him that Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the club and the spotlight that would have been on Sancho has been on the Portuguese superstar. 

Ronaldo thrives in it. Obviously you cannot compare the two.

But Ronaldo’s five goals in as many games have papered over a number of cracks, with one of the biggest question marks hanging over Sancho.

When United were struggling for a goal against Aston Villa on Saturday, struggling to get the ball to Ronaldo and create anything, Sancho stayed on the bench.

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His manager Solskjaer clearly believed that he was not going to alter nothing.

England manager Gareth Southgate has clearly thought that for some time despite including him in his squad once again yesterday for the two upcoming internationals.

Sancho was one of only three from the 26 called up for the Euros in the summer to be totally left out the opening match day squad against Croatia.

, It’s early days for Sancho at Man Utd… but Solskjaer needs everyone up & running NOW and £73m winger must deliver soon

Sancho is yet to chip in with a goal or provide an assist from his eight Red Devils appearances

, It’s early days for Sancho at Man Utd… but Solskjaer needs everyone up & running NOW and £73m winger must deliver soon

He started just one game in the championships, the 4-0 thumping of Ukraine in Rome and was unfortunate to be one of the penalty takers who missed in the penalty shoot-out in the final.

Sancho has 22 caps for England and those who have seen every one of those reckon he has had three decent games.

In the most recent international break he pulled out the squad early with a knock but there was no explanation as to how he had got it or what it was.

Anyway he was fit enough to start against Newcastle when the Premier League resumed.

You look at his stats from his time with Borussia Dortmund and you wonder where that player is, they are fantastic.

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In the four years with the club after leaving Manchester City as a 17-year-old he played 104 games scoring 38 goals and providing 51 assists.

From the start of that 2018-19 season when he became a regular for Dortmund, Sancho made 41 assists in the Bundesliga.

In the top five European leagues in this period, only two produced more: Thomas Muller (48) and Lionel Messi (43). Not that things were always well during his time in Germany off the pitch.

, It’s early days for Sancho at Man Utd… but Solskjaer needs everyone up & running NOW and £73m winger must deliver soon

Sancho will be vying to start against Everton at the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday

You have to wonder whether his early impact went to his head. In Germany there is a much more open relationship between clubs and media, much like there used to be in this country.

Yet for his final two years in there, Sancho blanked the regular Dortmund media pack doing just one interview with ESPN.

Perhaps it was the coverage of a rather lavish trip to Dubai in January 2020 that steeled his resolve to ignore the press.

He posted an Instagram video from that trip which included him applying salt to a gold covered £268 steak.

As respected German newspaper Die Welt put it that ‘was difficult to stomach for the public’.

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The Dortmund hierarchy was furious too and he was given a dressing down on his return to the club.

He had already blotted his copy book by then after returning late from international duty with England in October 2019 and was axed from the squad for the 1-0 win over then Bundesliga leaders Borussia Monchengladbach.

The following month he was late for a team meeting and subsequently left out of the squad for a Champions League game with Barcelona.

, It’s early days for Sancho at Man Utd… but Solskjaer needs everyone up & running NOW and £73m winger must deliver soon

Yet in that same 2019-20 season Sancho became part of a select group to have recorded 15-plus goals and assists in the same league campaign alongside Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Eden Hazard.

Still he continued to hit the headlines for other reasons and in October of last year he enraged his club again.

He was allowed to sit out the club’s 4-0 victory over Freiburg before an international break due to cold-like symptoms that saw him separated from the rest of the squad, although he would test negative for Covid.

Then within days he was pictured with around 20 guests including Ben Chilwell at a surprise party for Tammy Abraham in London breaching strict Covid rules.

His performances in the second half of last season remained top draw, but were Dortmund happy to let him go?

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If not why was an asking price of £110m at the end of the 2019-20 season as United pursued him then reduced to £73m by the time they finally got his signature this summer.

He is 21 and mistakes will be made. He is still getting used to a new set of team-mates. But United need everyone up and running now – and Sancho is not.

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