Rio Ferdinand reveals the reason for Jadon Sancho struggling at Manchester United
Rio Ferdinand has given his insight on the reason why Jadon Sancho has been struggling at Manchester United since his summer transfer. The latter has not gotten into the groove just yet and looks to be a pale shadow of the ability he showed at Borussia Dortmund.
Sancho has scored just three goals this season from the 24 appearances he has made across all competitions. That goal involvement output is a sharp contrast to his time in Germany, where he scored 50 goals alongside 64 assists from 137 matches for Dortmund. Now, the club legend has weighed in on why he believes that is the case.
Speaking on Vibe with Five podcast (h/t Metro), Ferdinand believes that Man United’s style of play does not suit the strengths of the Englishman, which is the reason for his underperformance. He added that the winger needs to be used in a quick technical system to get the best out of his abilities.
“If there’s no rhythm Sancho is not as good and effective. The players have got to identify what he’s good at. Some thought he would come in and take the ball from the edge of his box to the goal. That’s not his game. He’s about rhythm, one-touch passing, playing and moving and getting people off balance with a feint. He hasn’t been able to do that because the system at Man Utd has not worked yet. It’s left him in a vulnerable position.”
When the 21-year-old initially came in, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer utilised him as a direct winger, which was not how he played in Bundesliga. While he has the skills to play in that role, he is more of a creator on the wide areas combining with his teammates to create quick and incisive plays to break through opposition.
Ralf Rangnick realised that when he came in and had used the Red Devils ace in a 4-2-2-2 system as one of the number tens. The boss has changed the formation to 4-3-3 for the greater benefit of the team recently. However, the forward is still struggling since he does not have players suitable around him to cater to his strengths.
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Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, does not excel when engaging in small spaces to create opportunities for others. Fred, who played as a box to box midfielder before Paul Pogba’s return, lacks the technical attributes to complement the England international. Cases like these indicate how there needs to be cohesion for the entire squad to work smoothly during games.
It remains to be seen if Pogba’s return could help the Red Devils youngster in the coming months. After all, the latter did have a good link-up play with Jude Bellingham for BVB, so it would not be too much of a reach to say he could repeat it with the Frenchman. We have to wait and see how the interim boss would alleviate this problem moving forward.