Jadon Sancho appears to have thrown his Manchester United career into serious jeopardy after hitting out at manager Erik ten Hag over his Arsenal absence on social media.
The Red Devils paid Borussia Dortmund £73m to sign the England winger two years ago after a long, protacted chase dating the best part of two years. However, the 23-year-old’s time at Old Trafford has failed to deliver the expected results with just 12 goals to his name so far.
Indeed, Sancho was forced to undergo a personal training programme in the Netherlands last season as Ten Hag attempted to whip Sancho into shape. And while the winger quietly went about his business, it seems this time his patience has snapped.
Like the start of every new season, it is greeted by players, managers and fans alike, as something of a fresh start.
And for Sancho, it was hoped it would be the start of better times ahead, especially having been involved in the club’s first three Premier League matches of the season.
But when he was overlooked from the matchday squad for Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at Arsenal, to which a furious Ten Hag hit out at three decisions from the match officials, the Dutchman refuted claims that Sancho had been left out over disciplinary reasons.
Instead, Ten Hag claimed Sancho had been left out after failing to reach the required standards in training.
“You have to reach a level every day at Manchester United and we can make choices in the front line,” Ten Hag said after the loss at Emirates Stadium. “So for this game he was not selected.”
Sancho hits back at Ten Hag claims
However, those comments did not go down well with Sancho himself. And within an hour, he had hit back at the comments on social media.
Speaking on his X account, Sancho claims the United manager is making a ‘scapegoat’ of the winger.
“Please don’t believe everything you read! I will not allow people saying things that [are] completely untrue. I have conducted myself in training very well this week. I believe there are other reasons for this matter that I won’t go into, I have been a scapegoat for a long time which isn’t fair!
“All I want to do is play football with a smile on my face and contribute to my team. I respect all decisions that are made by the coaching staff, I play with fantastic players and [I’m] grateful to do so which I know every week is a challenge. I will continue to fight for this badge no matter what!”
With Sancho letting his emotions get the better of him, he seems to suggest his manager of misrepresenting the truth behind his omission.
But Ten Hag, a tough disciplinarian, is unlikely to have taken the comments well. And it’s not often ended well for players who have questioned or undermined his authority before; Cristiano Ronaldo being a recent example.
Sancho has work to do to get Ten Hag back onside
Ten Hag had started with Marcus Rashford and Antony as his wide attacking options at Emirated Stadium. Anthony Martial started up front, while their bench contained the inexperienced Facundo Pellistri and Alejandro Garnacho as well as debutant Rasmus Hojlund.
It remains to be seen if Sancho can play his way back into United’s plans. And with the international break upon us, he will be one of the few United players not involved in their national sides’ set-ups. To that end, he has the chance to both iron out his differences and show Ten Hag he is working hard on his game during their training sessions.
Ultimately, however, there may be no way back for Sancho at United, who has made just 53 starts from his 82 appearances for the club to date.