MANCHESTER UNITED have always been regarded as one of the few clubs in Europe to develop and nurture talented players and take them to the next level.
This was witnessed season after season during the Sir Alex Ferguson era, someone who won every title and trophy he took part in but knew the foundation of the football club was to give youth a chance and help players reach the potential they showed daily in training.
However, things have changed at Old Trafford since the retirement of one of the greatest managers of all time.
United have seen gifted individuals come through the youth academy as well as exciting and promising signings from Europe but have failed to provide the much-needed assistance and the perfect environment for them to play to their actual strengths and improve on their weaknesses.
The two players that are great examples of this are Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba, who both had a great start to their Manchester United careers and had showed the signs of a player that is more than capable of being a contender for the Ballon d’or.
With the creativity and trickery the pair presented, along with the linkup play with one another, it seemed certain that the duo would establish the perfect connection to be successful together for both club and country in the long run.
Unfortunately, things did not go to plan, as the board failed to adapt to the modern ways of football, and they did not offer the right support to help the team to push from a top four club to a side that wants to challenge for the Premier League and the Champions League.
The owners have shown inconsistencies with how they run the football club, from hiring below-par coaches and failing to financially back them.
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This has prevented players such as Martial and Pogba to truly reach the world class level.
And it’s a similar situation where Jadon Sancho may find himself in within the next 12-24 months, should the club not make the right decision in who should be appointed as the long-term coach and if they do not give Ralf Rangnick the freedom to look over things from the hierarchy board, especially with the past experience and intelligence to his name.
Sancho has had a slow start at Old Trafford into his first season at the club, as it took him quite some time to start on a regular basis and adapt to the intensity and physicality of the Premier League.
Though, he isn’t used to playing in a team that isn’t setup to dominate possession and play through the flanks, as United sit in sixth place for average possession rate when compared to the rest of the league, finding themselves spending good periods of the game to defend and chase after the ball.
During his time at Borussia Dortmund, the 21-year-old was part of a side that was in absolute control of the game and the opposition, as the team were filled with effective and technically composed players, who had the perfect understanding of when to press as a collective and when not to.
The Bundesliga side averaged a possession rate of 57.5% as well as a successful passing rate of 85.5% throughout the 2020/21 season, which allowed Sancho to be an influential individual for the side in the final third of the pitch, through his creativity and ability to dribble past players with ease.
Now, at United, he is struggling within a team that does not play to the abilities of the key players, let alone to Sancho’s own strengths.
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With midfielders that are not effective and productive on the ball in Fred and Scott McTominay, as well as attackers that constantly want to shoot and play through quick moments in Bruno Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford, it prevents the team to dominate possession in the opposition’s half and most importantly in the final third area.
Overall, if Manchester United do not make changes internally, the Old Trafford faithful will soon or later realise that Sancho is another player that has failed to reach his true potential just like Martial, Pogba and Marcus Rashford.
And the majority of the blame should be directed towards the football club and not to the individuals, who can only control what happens on the pitch and not off it.