Jadon Sancho to drop down Man Utd pecking order in stern warning to summer signing
Solskjaer gives updates on Varane and Sancho
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Jadon Sancho has been warned he must improve for Manchester United or risk being dropped to the bench when Marcus Rashford returns from injury. Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer finally landed his long-term target this summer following an 18-month pursuit, with Sancho completing a £73million transfer from Borussia Dortmund.
The 21-year-old has developed into one of Europe’s most consistent wingers in terms of producing goals and assists over the past three seasons.
Sancho also hit 17 goals last season in the Bundesliga as well as providing 16 assists for his team-mates, despite failing to score a league goal until January.
However, he is yet to find form following his move to Old Trafford and is yet to directly contribute a goal or assist in his first six appearances for his new club, with expectations somewhat higher following his high-profile move.
Sancho cut a profligate figure in the 1-0 defeat to West Ham in the Carabao Cup as the Red Devils crashed out in the third round, failing to find the net despite having five attempts.
Competition is fierce for places in Solskjaer’s starting XI after the return of Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
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Rashford has been sidelined after undergoing surgery on his shoulder this summer but looks set to return to action in October.
And the Sancho has been told by former striker Gabriel Agbonlahor to make a vast improvement in his level of performance before Rashford takes his place.
“I’m worried because the big man Rashford’s on his way back,” Agbonlahor told talkSPORT.
“If you’ve not started in the Premier League and Rashford’s coming back, then he’s going to be even further down the pecking order.
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“Rashford will come straight back into the team with Greenwood on the right and Ronaldo in the middle.
“He’s got to start putting in performances before Rashford becomes available.”
Sancho has been eased into life at Old Trafford after returning later than his team-mates to pre-season training, following an energy-sapping run to the Euro 2020 final with England.
The winger also suffered from a bout of illness before their curtain raiser against Leeds United and was only handed a brief cameo from the bench.
And Solskjaer put up a staunch defence of his summer acquisition, insisting the forward needs time to readjust to English football.
“I can’t complain about the effort,” he said of Sancho and Donny van de Beek’s performances after losing to West Ham.
“It has something to do with the rhythm. The confidence.
“Their best form isn’t there, as they haven’t played much.
“Good for them to get time, but we didn’t get the result. So like I said, there was a bit lacking in terms of quality, but not in terms of effort.”
Solskjaer launched a staunch defence of Sancho when a reporter raised a question as to whether he could cut it at a club of United’s stature.
“Of course the shirt’s not too big for him,” the Norwegian added.
“He’s finding his way of course. He’s back into English football, new team-mates.
“This is his first 90 minutes with new teammates and that’ll stand him in good stead.
“He grew into the game and had some good moments. He’ll come [good].”
Sancho and Man United will be hoping to bounce back from their surprise Carabao Cup exit when they host Aston Villa on Saturday lunchtime.
The club have made a fine start to the season and are currently top of the Premier League with 13 points from their opening five matches, level on points with Chelsea and Liverpool.
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