Jadon Sancho seems to be the transfer rumour that will not go away this summer. The young Englishman who found his feet at Borussia Dortmund is arguably the most coveted property in football right now, and it’s Manchester United that look to be in the driving seat to sign the 20-year-old.
Indeed, according to the latest online betting provided by 888sport, Sancho is odds-on (3/5) to move to Old Trafford before the 1st September. It’s even money that he stays in Germany. Chelsea (4/1) and Barcelona (14/1) are seen as outsiders for his signature.
But, for the moment, let’s forget about whether he will move or not, and let’s overlook the fact that it will surely be an astronomical fee in excess of €100 million. For now, let’s accept the fact that Sancho would be a perfect fit for United and could add something special to the line-up.
United’s attacking players naturally drift left
Why do we say this with such confidence? It’s not just that Sancho is proving himself to be a fantastic player. Instead, he is exactly the type of player that Manchester United need right now. For years, knowledgeable fans have complained about the club’s transfer policy. Money has spent – vast sums – but, too often, it was on the wrong player. Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Angel Di Maria, for example, are all fine players, but they were not the right fit at Old Trafford.
One other issue that has been highlighted is that so many of United’s players and former players were naturally attracted to the left-hand side of the pitch. Rashford, Martial, Pogba and Sanchez, for example, are all naturally inclined to move on to the left than the right. It left United unbalanced. Players like Daniel James and Jesse Lingard were sometimes deployed on the right of the attack, but, with all due respect, they do not have the quality required for United’s ambitions.
Sancho, as observers are aware, is highly-effective on the right flank. If he were to play there for United, it would open up possibilities for the rest of the team. For instance, it would allow Rashford to play as a central striker safe in the knowledge that speed and creativity are coming from the right side of the pitch. Martial, perhaps, can stay on the left if United play with three attackers, or Pogba can operate on the left as part of a midfield diamond.
Balance will be offered by Sancho arrival
The important thing, as we mentioned, is balance. Pogba naturally drifts left, whereas Bruno Fernandes occupies a more central role. Fred and Scott McTominay can offer a base in midfield, allowing those players to drift into where they feel most comfortable attacking. Having Sancho on the right means that there is a broader approach to United’s goal threat.
Indeed, if you have watched United over the last year, you will have seen that a lot of Aaron Wan-Bissaka trying to shoulder the burden of attacking on the right. Wan-Bissaka is a wonderful full-back, and he has a bright future at United, but he does not have the talents to be the main attacking threat on that flank. Having Sancho there will not only improve United’s potency, but it will allow Wan-Bissaka to become involved without being the sole outlet.
United might sign other players this summer, but Sancho looks like the most important pick for a variety of reasons. He’s young, talented and eager to improve, something that fits in well with the new ethos at the moment. But, most importantly, he seems to be the ‘right’ man for the right-hand side of the pitch. United have lacked that for several years.