Rangnick: Sancho is on the rise
Jadon Sancho is now producing the Bundesliga form for Manchester United that Ralf Rangnick was so envious of in Germany.
Our summer 2021 signing from Borussia Dortmund has come through his Premier League apprenticeship to become a significant figure in the Reds’ side.
An upsurge in form saw Sancho score twice last month against Middlesbrough in the Emirates FA Cup and in the league against Southampton. In the Manchester derby, he scored a storming goal at the Etihad against City and was one of the top performers in Saturday's 3-2 victory over Spurs, when he provided an assist to set up the second goal in Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick.
The attacker, who’ll celebrate his 22nd birthday on the 25th of this month, is reaching his Dortmund heights after an initially difficult introduction to life in England as a senior player.
And his resurgence couldn’t be better timed with the second leg of our evenly poised Champions League last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
As an 18-year-old with Dortmund, Sancho helped the German outfit destroy the Spaniards 4-0 in a Champions League group match when he scored one of the goals in the impressive triumph.
In his post-match press conference, following the thrilling win against Spurs, our interim boss Rangnick was asked what had he done to transform Sancho. It was put to the German that Jadon is unrecognisable from the player he was when he arrived at Old Trafford.
“I disagree. He is now recognisable as the Jadon Sancho I have known since he was 18,” said Ralf.
But he did agree Sancho’s early United performances didn’t reflect his impact in Germany.
“Yes, this has also not always been the case, if we're honest, in the weeks and months before I came,” he said.
“Jadon Sancho is now getting closer to the Jadon Sancho I've known from Germany. In the end it's all about confidence. Game time, confidence. Confidence, game time. He was performing at a very high level.
“We can only be successful as a team. If you're not being successful, if you're not playing well as a team, tell me one single player in football who can still develop his own career. It's impossible. It's only possible with raising the level of performance of the whole team. This is what happened [against Spurs].
“With Jadon, as you know when he was 17, I was trying to convince him to join us at Leipzig. Unfortunately he decided to go to Dortmund which was not the worst choice he could make at the time. When I came here [to United] it was clear we had to try everything to help him to get the best version of himself.”
Sancho’s form graph is now on an upward trend.
“This is what he should be,” added Rangnick. “The club paid quite a few pounds for him in order to lure him away from Borussia Dortmund and if you pay that amount of money in a transfer fee for a player, he should perform on this kind of level.
“At the end, they are all human beings. The mere fact he cost a lot of money does not mean that he is playing at that level to start with.
“He told me that of course it was a problem for him to get adjusted to the intensity of the league, to the physicality of the league. Now he has managed to do that. I'm happy to see him play at that kind of level right now.”