There is no currently no other player in world football that is creating more excitement or hype than Jadon Sancho.
With football being put on pause, there has been an even bigger focus on transfer stories and rumours, as we head into the summer territory. Such speculation is always met with large volumes of interest, but there is currently a bigger demand than normal, surrounding the news of new potential recruits at Old Trafford.
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Sancho has been heavily linked with a move to United this summer, from all the top-tier sources. Fans have welcomed such news with open arms, as he looks to be a player that can take the club to the next level.
Foundations for new arrivals to settle
New signings always hold the potential to bring new-life into a club, just look at Bruno Fernandes. The Portuguese international has hit the ground-running at United since arriving last January, scoring three goals and assisting four, in just his opening nine games.
Whilst such form can be credited to the midfielder’s natural ability, we must also recognise the environment that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has created, for signings like Fernandes to settle in at. This season, the Norwegian has set some stable foundations in place with the team, filtering out large pieces of deadwood and establishing a much more positive looking squad.
Team selections have been consistent and players have started to form relationships on the field. Fernandes was welcomed into a starting XI with two sitting midfielders and three attacking frontmen, a shape that Solskjaer and his staff have been working on, for almost twelve months now.
Through remaining committed to their style of play and philosophy, Old Trafford has become a much more organised environment for new recruits to arrive in. There is no shoe-horning of players into unnatural positions, but instead, the manager is identifying specific targets to fill voids in his team.
Like Fernandes, Sancho would be joining with a clear understanding of his role. Occupying the right-wing spot, he will be playing in-front of the defensive figure of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, with his responsibilities consisting of being the team’s direct threat in the final third. On paper, this is where things start to get exciting.
Match made in heaven
So far this season, 42% of United’s attacking play has come down the left channel. No doubt the largest contributing factor to this is from the influence of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, with their tendencies to drift out wide and then cut inside.
The latter has predominately been utilised as a number nine this year, but the Frenchman feels more comfortable running with the ball at his feet, when attacking down the left-flank. Whilst both forwards have enjoyed very productive seasons, the major downfall to such tendencies results in United’s play becoming a little predictable.
Their attacking intent is often shoehorned down the left channel, as there is no direct threat on the opposite flank. The likes of Juan Mata and Daniel James have been utilised there, but neither hold the flare or experience of a winger, to maintain a balanced look to Solskjaer’s frontline.
Up step Sancho. The 19-year-old has over two years under his belt in operating out on the right, playing an integral role in Borussia Dortmund’s dynamic and explosive front-line. Averaging 2.6 dribbles per game in the league, he offers a direct threat down the channel, hugging the touchline and beating his man around the outside.
Despite being a right-footed right-winger though, Sancho has also mastered the art at drifting inside and attacking the space in between the centre-back and full-back. Seven of his nineteen goals this season have come from the Englishman starting on the right, very encouraging stats for such a young talent.
Front three of dreams
Should Sancho arrive, a front-three of him, Martial and Rashford is quite a terrifying prospect.
It is a frontline that Solskjaer has been building towards since taking charge, as he likes granting his frontmen a licensee to run in-behind and interchange with one another. The system is deployed both home and away, with the Norwegian opting for two sitting midfielders that offer defensive security to the middle of the park.
This ‘comfort blanket’ allows the attackers to sit further up the field, a factor that maintains a counter-attacking threat for the team, at any given point. With such freedom, Sancho would be granted a free role to change between staying out-wide and drifting inside, playing off both Martial and Rashford.
This season, the three players have a shared total of fifty-four goals, making the thought of the trio playing together quite the exciting proposition.