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Why do Manchester United need Jadon Sancho?

What can the Dortmund star bring to Old Trafford?

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Sancho has been among Dortmund’s star players in recent seasons. Credit: Getty images

According to football transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Sancho’s highly speculated transfer to Manchester United is “now closer than it’s ever been”. 

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær has been keen to bolster his squad, who finished 2nd in the 20/21 Premier League season. But what exactly would Sancho bring to the theatre of dreams?

Desperation for a right winger

For the best part of a decade, United have lacked an attacking outlet on the right side of the pitch. It’s a concern, and even more so when you realise the last real right winger for the club was Antonio Valencia. The Ecuadorian eventually shifted down to the right full-back position at the start of the 14/15 season. Six. Years. Ago. 

Despite being one of the giants of European football, United have been lacklustre in the seasons following Sir Alex’s retirement. This has been no different in their recruitment, as well as the failure to improve the weak areas within the first eleven. 

Adjustments

When United failed to meet the valuation Dortmund had set for Jadon Sancho in summer 2020 of nearly £90 million, they were forced to look at who could fill the right wing position in their current roster. The natural answer at the time was an 18 year old Mason Greenwood. 

Greenwood had a solid second full season at United. Credit: AFP

It wasn’t the best start to the season for the promising young forward. He failed to register a goal or assist in his first 10 appearances of the Premier League schedule, before netting away at West Ham in a 3-1 victory in December.

The second half of the campaign arrived, and Greenwood became more prolific in front of the goal. 6 goals in his last 8 games of the season coming against the likes of Tottenham and Leicester would tell you that. 

United just lacked that extra attacking boost during their latest league campaign. Greenwood did end the year with a solid 12 goals and 6 assists in all competitions. But, if Sancho were in his place, it would be hard to argue that he wouldn’t have rivalled Greenwood’s numbers. 

Their goal tallies were nearly identical at club level. Greenwood racked up 8, and Sancho with 9 respectively. Sancho’s assist record, though, was far superior to his English counterpart. He helped himself to 12 assists in the Bundesliga, solidifying his already strong partnership with Norwegian striker Erling Halaand. 

Attacking prowess

Honing his craft in Germany, his overall record for Borussia Dortmund stands at 43 goals and 51 assists in just 125 games played. His attacking presence, as well as his playmaking abilities would be invaluable if replicated for United. To reach the same level of Manchester City, it’s obvious that United have to attract players of his caliber. 

With his impressive record for Dortmund, comes his versatility. Primarily utilised as a right winger, Sancho can play on either flank. He has also found success playing behind the striker for his current side. This would favour United, with Solskjær known to want his attacking players to be able to play anywhere across the forward line.

Youth & winning mentality

The current Manchester United are a relatively young side, full of attacking exuberance, and Sancho would only add to that. At only 21 years of age, Sancho could nail down the right wing position at Old Trafford for many seasons to come, but with enough experience to boost United’s chances of a potential title bid in the upcoming 21/22 league campaign.

Jadon Sancho has a hunger to win trophies. Winner of the German Super Cup in 2019, and voted the best young player in the Bundesliga in the same year. Beating RB Leipzig 4-1 to claim the German Cup. United will hope that his ambition to win at such a young age can help propel them back into the stratosphere of domestic and European glory.

Now, it seems not like a matter of if, but when the England forward will join Manchester United. The Red Devils have reportedly paid an initial fee of £75 million for Sancho, as well as 5 million in add ons in an attempt to finally get the deal over the line. 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

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