Man Utd dressing room’s private reaction to Jadon Sancho treatment

Ten Hag outlines what Man Utd must do in Champions League quest

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag’s stock has reportedly increased among his players due to the way he has handled Jadon Sancho. The England international was banished from the squad and sent on an individual training programme late last year, with his big-money switch from Borussia Dortmund threatening to flop. 

Sancho was one of the most in-demand players in Europe by the time United pulled the trigger on a £73million deal in 2021. Signed by BVB as a teenager from Manchester City, the tricky winger scored 50 goals and notched a bucket-load of assists in 137 appearances. 

Despite rising through a Premier League academy system, the 22-year-old struggled to acclimatise upon making his return to the English top flight, scoring just three league goals in his first full season. After failing to make the England World Cup squad, Sancho was sent by Ten Hag to train in the Netherlands. 

His individual training regime, which supposedly focused on ‘physical and mental’ matters, continued until mid-January and he didn’t make his competitive comeback until earlier this month. 

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Sancho has scored twice in four games since returning to the side, sparking hope among fans that the youngster can reach his best form at Old Trafford. Ten Hag’s decision to separate the player from the rest of the first-team squad raised eyebrows at the time, but it could pay dividends. 

According to The Telegraph, United’s dressing room have reacted with ‘genuine warmth and gratitude’ towards the boss for the way he has dealt with Sancho. The manner was handled calmly in the media and supporters belted out support for the ex-Dortmund star upon his return to the pitch against Leeds. 

Sancho started on the left flank at the Nou Camp last week as United took on Barcelona for a spot in the Europa League knockout rounds. The first leg finished 2-2 thanks to a Marcus Rashford strike and Jules Kounde putting into his own net, with the reverse fixture pencilled in for Thursday. 

It remains to be seen whether Sancho is given another chance to shine when United host, but Rashford will undoubtedly be the main threat for Barca boss Xavi to contend with. The England international is on a scintillating run of form since the World Cup with 16 goals in all competitions. 

Across all of Europe’s top-five leagues, Karim Benzema is the nearest challenger with 10 while Erling Haaland and Victor Osimhen both have nine. His hot streak continued in the 3-0 win over Leicester on Sunday, after which Ten Hag tried his best to keep the forward’s feet planted. 

“I don’t know [if his scoring] will stop, but he has to go from game to game and during the week do the right things,” he said. “I think as a manager, as a coaching staff we have to push them but finally it comes from the player. When he loses focus then the scoring will stop. Clear.”

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