Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reviews Manchester City defeat
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Jadon Sancho could be forgiven for wondering what he has done in leaving Borussia Dortmund. He could also be forgiven for wanting to see the back of his manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, despite his relentless transfer pursuit of the winger. Since Sancho moved to Manchester United, there has been an unavoidable element of widespread disappointment.
One of the world’s most spellbinding young, talents has virtually been deemed surplus to requirements in recent weeks.
United and namely Solskjaer did not give up on signing Sancho for the best part of three years and with the team in desperate need of some invention to dig them out of crisis mode, their £72million addition’s continued omission rightly raises eyebrows.
Granted, it must be noted that Sancho has not performed to the best of his ability whenever he has featured and there were plenty of opportunities in the first weeks of the season.
But since then, Solskjaer has been operating with a ruthless and cynical approach that has virtually shattered Sancho’s confidence.
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He has been dropped from the England squad and has spent the majority of recent matches sat on the bench, desperately waiting for the chance to put things right.
Yet with Solskjaer now switching to a 3-4-1-2 formation, Sancho’s chances of playing have been even further diminished.
There is no room for wingers in Solskjaer’s current setup amid reports that Sancho has been playing at wing-back in training and if true, that is simply an insult to the England international.
Solskjaer appears to be relaxed about the situation and his inability to get the best from one of his marquee signings, stating that Sancho has many important years ahead of him.
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But the reality of the situation is that he was not signed to sit on the bench and he arrived at the club as one of the best wingers in European football.
Sancho – certainly under Solskjaer – does not seem to be the right fit for United and if his demise continues, United are facing another repeat of the fortunes of Angel Di Maria.
There was no doubting the Argentine’s quality but it just did not work out at Old Trafford, for one reason or another.
United were happy to cash in on the attacker after just one season at the club under Louis van Gaal and their hastiness was questioned further down the line when Di Maria continued to star on the continental stage in the Champions League.
Di Maria even came back to haunt United when he scored at Old Trafford in a 2-0 win for Paris Saint-Germain and there were no muted celebrations as he antagonised the home crowd.
Following his departure, many soon realised that Di Maria was a player that was worth building around and the decision to sell him prematurely was scrutinised.
And if Solskjaer isn’t careful, problems could lie ahead with Sancho, who is unlikely to settle for a place on the bench.
Most managers would be building and shaping their team around the 21-year-old among others but that does not look like happening anytime soon.
For that reason, Sancho’s greatest hope of becoming a United regular may rest with the potential sacking of Solskjaer.
There will be huge gratitude for bringing him to Old Trafford but the idea that Sancho must now show patience and consider that he was signed for the club’s long-term future is nonsense.
He is for now and should be playing. If his situation does not improve, do not expect Sancho to settle for a bit-part role.
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