Manchester United Personnel Overview – Jadon Sancho: Keep Or Sell?

Manchester United's Jadon Sancho celebrates after the match.

REUTERS/Phil Noble

When Manchester United’s summer arrivals of 2021 were stacked up, obviously it was Cristiano Ronaldo who stole the limelight. But eagle-eyed hopefuls were keener on the purchase of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, particularly given that in the Bundesliga alone the then English starlet had amassed 38 goals and an impressive 51 assists.

Fast forward to the present day, and the signing that was expected to perform what Erling Haaland is doing at Manchester City is arguably on only a slightly better career arc than Ronaldo’s second season back.

Let us have a detailed look at what Sancho offers to Erik ten Hag and company and whether he ought to be retained or sold come summer.

Why Sancho should be sold

Apart from the nice gesture of the club siding by the player during what is speculated to be a difficult period personally, his numbers and impact after returning to the club do not paint a favourable picture of why he ought to stay on.

In terms of pure economic numbers, the coming summer is arguably the only time United may get anywhere near the £76.5 million purchase price they obtained him for. Another season with a similar form like this one and that number can nosedive sharply.

Further, it is high time United benefit from that potential sale and reallocate funds where personnel are desperately lacking: the centre-forward role.

Incidentally, squad depth is another reason why Sancho will probably be asked to leave as their left side is well-covered by Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho and at right they are spoilt for options in Antony and potentially Amad too next season. Not to mention that the Brazilian’s price-tag will probably be a stronger reason for him to start than Sancho’s.

With just 8 Premier League goals and just 5 assists in nearly 50 appearances, his Bundesliga numbers are simply not being replicated well, even if one adjusts for the higher difficulty of English football.

Why Sancho should be retained

Akin to Anthony Martial, when Sancho plays well, he plays really well, and at just 23 years of age, the prospect of him aping a Marcus Rashford-like turn in form makes for a really compelling argument for him to stay. The truth of the matter is that due to his break, this season cannot be viewed as an ideal one and Ten Hag has had only one season and limited game time upon which to judge his viability.

Interestingly, the very squad depth argument which spelt his possible departure could now become a compelling argument for him to stay, especially if the Dutch gaffer decides to make the best use of his versatility to play even as a no.10, dictating the attack from the middle.

Likewise, if United continue to flourish under this style of football and become a possession-dominant side, then past precedent suggests that Sancho is the man for the task, regardless of where he is deployed along the trident.


Such a degree of reliability is certainly a risk, but is it one that a side on the cusp of a takeover will elect to take?