Winger Jadon Sancho labelled Manchester United’s ‘biggest problem’ by ex-Premier League forward Gabriel Agbonlahor
Speaking to talkSPORT (h/t Express), former Premier League forward Gabriel Agbonlahor labelled Manchester United winger Jadon Sancho as the team’s biggest problem after United’s 1-1 draw against Leicester City last night.
Old Trafford welcomed back the Premier League with a drab 1-1 draw yesterday, as the Red Devils were forced to find an equaliser within minutes after the Foxes took the lead in the second half. However, neither team had it in them to score an eventual winner.
Agbonlahor, who was previously captain of Aston Villa, said that the biggest problem of the game was Sancho, who did not take players on like many who played in the position before, like Aaron Lennon, Shaun Wright-Phillips, or himself.
“The biggest problem for me today was watching Jadon Sancho. I’ve played in that position, I’ve seen players like Aaron Lennon, top wingers like Shaun Wright-Phillips play in that position, they get the ball they take players on.”
After Kelechi Iheanacho put Leicester ahead through a thumping header, Fred fired home the equaliser within minutes, latching onto a spilt shot from Kasper Schmeichel, after the opposition keeper saved Bruno Fernandes’ shot right into the path of the Brazilian midfielder.
“Scared to take people on”
Sancho played the entire ninety minutes of the game but was unable to find the back of the net or provide an assist that would prove to be the eventual winner in the match. He looked out of ideas in the final third, something that we never saw from the Englishman while he played in Germany.
Agbonlahor questioned the former Borussia Dortmund winger’s confidence, saying that he kept playing the ball back instead of taking on people, which he seemingly looked scared to do. As a forward, that is least expected from such a talented star.
“Sancho played the ball back every time he got it to the level that he ended up playing one back and putting Ihenacho in. He was that desperate to play it backwards, he was that scared to take people on. I don’t know what’s happened to his confidence but that was the biggest problem for me watching that game today.”
The 22-year-old was lauded in the Bundesliga for being able to take on the opposition, using his pace and mazy dribbles to confuse defenders and find a gap in their rearguard. It is what got the Red Devils to splash the cash on him last summer, and bring him back to England.
However, the England international has had a slow start to life in the Premier League, unable to stamp his authority in the final third and recreate his form at Dortmund while at United. Since the start of the new year, however, Sancho seems to have found his feet as he contributed to a few goals and assists.
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That form of his seems to have regressed against the Foxes last night, with the player once again looking a little lost and unable to get past his marker throughout the game. It was all summed up with a wild swing of the boot in the dying minutes of the game, as the winger miscued his kick when his team was desperately chasing a winner.
Agbonlahor’s analysis of the player last night seems to be correct, although it is perhaps a bit harsh. The player is still young and adapting to a new league, and before the Leicester clash, he looked to be one of our better performers. Hopefully, we see him get back to his best in the upcoming weeks and prove the former Villa skipper wrong.