Jadon Sancho left Man City and Pep Guardiola in 2017 with the Catalan questioning whether he wanted to push for regular minutes as the winger begins life slowly at Man Utd
Jadon Sancho’s Manchester United career has not got off to the start he, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer or the club were anticipating.
The winger arrived from Borussia Dortmund in the summer for £73m following several impressive years in Germany.
United had a long standing interest in Sancho and made attempts to sign him 12 months before they eventually secured a deal.
Sancho’s style of play seemed, on paper at least, to perfectly suit Solskjaer’s system at Old Trafford.
However, after nine games, the 21-year-old is yet to score or register an assist and has already found himself on the bench.
United have a host of quality names in attacking positions and Sancho faces a challenge to make himself a regular.
Pep Guardiola, a man who worked with the winger at the start of his career at Manchester City, claimed he left the Etihad in 2017 because he “didn’t want the challenge” of trying to get into the first team.
Sancho will now have to prove the Catalan wrong if he is to make a success of his return to Manchester.
What did Guardiola say?
City signed a young Sancho from Watford in 2015 with his potential obvious back then.
He was afforded opportunities to train with the first team as he rose through the ranks at the Etihad.
However, Sancho felt his development would be better served elsewhere with City’s XI and their wider squad bursting with talent.
Guardiola clearly wanted the player to learn from his teammates before eventually pushing for more involvement, as has been the case with Phil Foden.
He was quizzed on the motives behind Sancho’s move to Dortmund and responded: “I don’t know. He didn’t want to take this challenge, this opportunity to discover if he was able to. He decided to go there. So, it’s perfect. It’s going well and congratulations on what he is doing.
“He is doing an incredible performance. He did it incredibly well this season. What would have happened this season [at City]? I don’t know.
“Again, with the players, it depends on them and what they do on the pitch.”
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Sancho’s Man Utd start
The No 25 made his debut off the bench against Leeds on the opening day of the season and again appeared from the bench at Southampton.
His first start came against Wolves, but he has struggled to have the impact he had in Germany.
Of Sancho’s nine outings, five have come as a starter with Solskjaer keen to defend his new signing.
However, his efforts in Germany last term, where he scored 16 times, led to high expectations which are yet to be met.
Gareth Southgate included the winger in his latest England squad, but confessed his form probably didn’t warrant a spot.
The United boss responded: “Was that interview done before Wednesday night?”
“Jadon was exceptional (against Villarreal), he was electric. The crowd loved him and I think he felt that connection.
“He was direct, positive, he went past the full-back numerous times. Yes, he’s not scored yet but I thought, ‘that’s Jadon and we’re going to see lots of that’.”