Why did Jadon Sancho miss Manchester United against Arsenal? The ex-Dortmund man remarkably contradicted coach Erik ten Hag
Jadon Sancho’s €85m move to Manchester United in 2021 has not proved to be a happy career move so far, and signs are mounting that it is unlikely to change any time soon. On Sunday, the former Borussia Dortmund top performer suffered another low blow at the English record champions.
Sancho was not in the squad for the painful 3-1 defeat at Arsenal FC, but it was by no means due to injury. “Jadon was absent because of his performance in training,” coach Erik ten Hag reported afterwards. “You have to reach a certain level every day at Manchester United and we can make decisions in attack, so he was not selected for this game.” Ten Hag had named far more inexperienced attacking players Facundo Pellistri (21), Hannibal (20) and Daniel Gore (18), among others, in the matchday squad.
Sancho: “I have been the scapegoat for a long time “
Even this evening, Sancho responded to the Dutchman’s statements – in a way that is unlikely to be without consequences. “Please don’t believe everything you read,” tweeted the 23-year-old, who had been substituted between the 60th and 70th minutes on each of the first three matchdays. “I’m not going to let people say things that are completely untrue. I have done very well in training this week. I believe there are other reasons for this matter which I will not go into. I have been the scapegoat for a long time, which is not fair!”
Last season, ten Hag had dispensed with Sancho’s services for three months and instead sent him to the Netherlands for special rebuilding training. The winger had “physical and mental problems”, ten Hag said at the time.
“All I want is to play football with a smile on my face and help my team,” Sancho now explained. “I respect all the decisions the coaching staff makes. I play with fantastic players and I am grateful for that. I know that every week is a challenge. I will keep fighting for this crest no matter what!”
In total, Sancho, whose contract is still valid until 2026, has only made 58 appearances in the Premier League, scoring nine goals and providing six assists. He has also lost his place in the English national team, having played his last of 23 international matches to date in October 2021. In the BVB jersey, he had previously caused a sensation with 89 scorer points in 104 Bundesliga games.