Yorke offers advice to Sancho
Dwight Yorke believes it is time for Jadon Sancho to properly express himself in 2022/23 as the winger looks to have a better second season at Manchester United.
Yorke famously had a dream debut campaign with the Reds after joining in 1998, top scoring as Alex Ferguson's team incredibly won the Treble the following May, but it is very common for players to take time to settle and really kick on in their second term.
Sancho showed signs of his best form at the start of this calendar year and has been outstanding in pre-season under new boss Erik ten Hag, raising expectations that he can sparkle once we get under way against Brighton & Hove Albion, although he missed the friendly clash with Atletico Madrid last weekend.
After previously backing Marcus Rashford to rediscover top form under Ten Hag, new Macarthur FC coach Yorke feels Sancho just needs the freedom to show the skills that made him such a big hit at Borussia Dortmund.
"Listen, again, he's another player with huge expectations and a big price-tag," explained the ex-United striker. "It's about dealing with that stuff.
"Marcus came through the Academy but Jadon is a young lad coming in off real disappointment, in terms of missing that penalty [for England in the European Championship final shoot-out against Italy]. If you look at it from the psychological point of view and how it affects you.
"Normally, when you come to such a huge club, you want to get off to the best possible start," added Yorke, speaking from experience. "He hasn't quite hit those heights and I feel like he's playing catch-up. I felt it was like a case of you can't take a risk to express yourself, you've got to go for safety instead.
"What the new manager will know and understand is how to try to influence these players to be themselves, express themselves, in the way they can.
"When you look at how Sancho played, it is a fact that he was kind of holding back and going for safety, rather than doing what he can do to express some of his skills that he has.
There is a sense of anticipation that the winger, who scored against Liverpool, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa on Tour 2022, will continue to dazzle on the right flank when playing against Premier League opposition domestically.
"It will be interesting to see how he goes this year," said Yorke. "He is still a young man, still developing and still understanding his game and what is probably his best position.
"I think he has a bit more to make up this season [compared to Rashford] after how it went for him last year. But there are big expectations and, if you don't embrace it, then you are playing catch-up. I think he was playing catch-up but can get there."
PLAY UNITED PREDICTIONS
It's clear that fans are also backing Jadon ahead of the new season, with 28 per cent of you believing he will be Man of the Match in the Brighton game - gaining more support than any other player.
A quarter of supporters think he will score our first goal of the campaign - behind only Anthony Martial, on 33 per cent - after his positive Tour 2022 showings.
Take part in our Predictions game in the United App now to see if you can correctly guess MOTM, first scorer, scoreline and, of course, the starting line-up of each United first-team game this season. Great prizes are on offer!