Ten Hag’s “weak link” has rinsed the club for 111 weeks
Manchester United’s recent defeat to Arsenal in the Premier League saw them enter the international break occupying 11th spot in the league table, already six points behind Manchester City.
Erik ten Hag would have been hoping the momentum that was gathered during the final few months of the 2022/23 campaign, which saw the Red Devils win their first piece of silverware in six years combined with Champions League qualification, was going to enable them to begin the current season in a productive manner.
The Old Trafford side made seven new signings during the summer transfer window, bringing in Andre Onana, Mason Mount, Rasmus Hojlund, Jonny Evans, Altay Bayindir, Sofyan Amrabat and Sergio Reguilon, and it’s fair to say it wasn’t quite the window many of the supporters were anticipating.
Only Onana has made an impact thus far, with Mount playing only twice and Hojlund making his first appearance against Arsenal. Ten Hag will be hoping it is money well spent following years of big-money signings letting the club down.
One name that immediately springs to mind is Jadon Sancho, who has endured a poor start to the current campaign and has failed to live up to the staggering amount that United shelled out on him just two years ago.
What is Jadon Sancho’s salary at Manchester United?
The Englishman had emerged as one of the most talented youngsters on the continent during his spell at Borussia Dortmund, registering an impressive 114 goal contributions – 50 goals and 64 assists – across just 137 games for the club, winning the German cup too in what was a highly productive four-season spell.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer signed the winger in the summer of 2021 for a fee in the region of £73m and this was a lot of pressure to heap on a player who was only 21-years-old.
That pressure and expectancy were likely only heightened by the reported £250k-per-week wage that the fleet-footed trickster has been on since his arrival two years ago, according to Capology.
How much has Jadon Sancho earned so far at Manchester United?
The youngster has been at the club for a total of 111 weeks and during that time, he has roughly earned an eye-watering £26m in wages alone at United.
Combine this with his transfer fee of £73m and Sancho has already cost the Old Trafford side just shy of £100m at £99m and judging by his form for the club since arriving, this has turned out to be a colossal waste of money.
The winger has a contract until 2026, meaning he still has three years to continue rinsing the club unless they move him on.
A move to Saudi Arabia fell through at the last minute earlier this week, and he will remain in Manchester until January at least, ensuring Ten Hag will need to find a way to get the best out of him.
Does Jadon Sancho deserve £250k-per-week?
Upon his arrival, it looked like United had signed a player who has the potential to turn into one of the next big superstars, especially going by his record in Germany and his meteoric rise since leaving Man City in 2017 to take a chance at the Bundesliga outfit.
Across 38 games during his first season, he scored just five goals and grabbed three assists, which was a large drop-off from the 26 goal contributions he had recorded during his last season in Dortmund.
His form may have been down to the fact he was a newcomer in a league which he hadn’t played in before and while the massive transfer fee may also have played a part, it was clear that things weren’t going as anticipated and perhaps Ten Hag had a solution.
Indeed, Sancho scored winning goals against Liverpool and Leicester City as he played the full 90 minutes in Ten Hag’s first seven league matches in charge, while also scoring in the Europa League, and it appeared as though progress was being made.
As the World Cup loomed on the horizon, Sancho began to lose some of his earlier momentum and was even dubbed as United’s “weak link” by Tom McDermott in October last year.
After the match against West Ham United on 30 October, Sancho didn’t turn out for the club again until the following February, even missing a place in the England squad for the World Cup.
It wasn’t due to an injury however, but more so a lack of form which meant he was dropped, and then he subsequently lost his fitness in the process.
Jadon Sancho’s strengths
Jadon Sancho’s weaknesses
Holding onto the ball
All stats via WhoScored
The winger finally made his comeback and netted four goals before the end of the season, but he still came under some criticism from former United star Paul Scholes following the defeat to Sevilla in the Europa League, who said:
“During the warm-ups we were eulogising about the crowd and saying how aggressive and hostile it was.
“When the United players see and hear that, they need to go into the dressing room and think, ‘I need to be ready for this and my first touch has got to be ready.
“You see Jadon Sancho in the first five minutes tonight, the ball bounced off him three times, terrible weight of pass, too. I’m a big fan of the lad, but you’ve got to liven up and be ready.”
Does Jadon Sancho have a future at Manchester United?
The 23-year-old has failed to start a league match so far this term, coming on as a substitute in three of their four games, and it looks as though Ten Hag may be utilising other options across his frontline.
The international break has come at the right time for the Red Devils, and it could give the Dutchman a chance to discuss Sancho’s future.
The 5 foot 10 dud has rinsed the club spectacularly since the summer of 2021 and with his extortionate wages, the manager won’t want him picking up a pay packet from the sidelines.
This could suggest a move away from Old Trafford will come sooner rather than later and what looked like a deal which could’ve turned out to be a wonderful piece of business by the club has descended into a nightmare for all involved.
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