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Jadon Sancho: How star is excelling at Dortmund as Man Utd return chances heighten

Jadon Sancho, Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Jadon Sancho would have impressed Ratcliffe in the UCL semi-final v PSG

Following his stunning performance against PSG in the Champions League semi-finals, TEAMtalk looks at how well Manchester United loanee Jadon Sancho is doing at Dortmund and what the future holds for the exciting winger.

Sancho has had an eventful season in 2023-24, having played just three times for Manchester United towards the start of the campaign.

After Sancho was left out of Man Utd’s squad for the Premier League clash against Arsenal on September 3, there was speculation that the winger had picked up an injury. But manager Erik ten Hag then revealed that Sancho was omitted from the matchday squad as he had not been training properly.

Sancho did not take this public criticism well, posting a response on social media which urged fans not to believe everything they see and read, while also complaining about his situation as a Man Utd scapegoat.

The Englishman subsequently deleted the post, but the damage was done. Ten Hag would not reintegrate Sancho into the Man Utd squad unless he said sorry, and that apology never came.

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Sancho was rescued from Old Trafford in the January transfer window, as Borussia Dortmund re-signed him on loan.

It is unlikely the move will be made permanent this summer though, as Dortmund sporting director Sebastian Kehl says it is not ‘realistic’ for the Bundesliga giants to afford such a deal. Plus, TEAMtalk previously revealed that Sancho is aiming to return to Man Utd this summer and form part of the new era under Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Ten Hag continues to be at growing risk of being sacked, which will open the door for Sancho to return under a new manager.

How is Sancho doing in Germany?

Sancho got off to a good start back at Dortmund, registering an assist for Marco Reus in his first game against Darmstadt after coming off the bench in the 55th minute.

Sancho shone in the next match against Koln, showing some of his old Dortmund magic by gliding past two players before winning a penalty, which Niclas Fullkrug converted.

But the 23-year-old could not repeat that exciting performance the following week against Bochum and was then left out for the 0-0 draw with Heidenheim.

In an interview with transfermarkt, Bundesliga expert Stefan Bienkowski said: “Two assists from his first two Bundesliga games suggested that the last couple of years at Man Utd had just been a horrid fever dream, but a poor performance against Bochum and then a necessary rest against Heidenheim because he wasn’t quite up to full fitness brought back a lot of the realities that troubled him at Old Trafford.”

The wide man returned for Dortmund against Freiburg on February 9, coming off the bench in the 88th minute. Although, it was a cameo to forget for Sancho as he missed three big chances late in the game. Luckily for Dortmund, they were already 3-0 up by that point.

Sancho then went a further four matches without registering a goal or assist, which saw German outlet WAZ wonder why Dortmund had made a ‘big fuss’ over landing him in the winter window. WAZ’s report said Sancho was lacking confidence and match fitness, with his timing also seemingly off in Dortmund attacks.

Sancho silenced his critics in early March, though. He demonstrated brilliant skill to take on Werder Bremen’s Julian Malatini before beating the goalkeeper with a near-post finish, putting Dortmund 2-0 up. That goal proved to be crucial as Marcel Sabitzer was sent off just before half time and Werder clawed one back in the 70th minute.

Ultimately, though, Sancho’s strike proved to be the difference, helping BVB continue their push for a top-four finish.

Against Werder, Sancho looked fitter and more lively than he has done for most of the season so far, which will get Dortmund fans excited that he might be about to go on a devastating run in front of goal – and they were right to be excited.

Sancho earned the plaudits of former United defender Rio Ferdinand, however, after Dortmund’s 1-0 Champions League first-leg win over PSG on Wednesday evening.

The winger was in sensational form, showing the Red Devils exactly what they’ve been missing as he terrorised the PSG defence to throw up more questions about his long-term Old Trafford future.

To earn that huge £73m switch to Man Utd, Sancho managed 50 goals and 64 assists in 137 appearances during his first spell at Dortmund.

After the win over Werder, BVB boss Edin Terzic –  who has a great relationship with Sancho – revealed how the player is still gunning to improve even after his goal.

“In the last few days and weeks, I’ve gotten many, many questions about why he isn’t where he was yet,” Terzic said.

“For us, it makes complete sense if you take into account what his last 12 months looked like, and yet last week he was very dissatisfied and there was a long conversation.

“After the game, he was dissatisfied because he said he lost the ball too many times, especially in the second half, and that’s what I like about him. He is not just focusing on his goal but taking in the entire performance.

“Even though he hadn’t scored in the last few weeks, we’ve seen that he’s well on his way there. We know he’s not 100 per cent yet but we’ll get him there.”

Will attacker make Man Utd comeback?

As previously mentioned, Sancho will return to Man Utd this summer as Dortmund cannot afford to sign him permanently. There has been talk of Dortmund signing him on another loan, though it would be a surprise if Man Utd accepted this option.

Ratcliffe either needs to sell Sancho or decide that he should be given another chance at Man Utd.

Under Ten Hag, the Manchester City academy graduate will not be given any more opportunities, but the player is in luck.

Sources have confirmed to TEAMtalk that Ratcliffe is planning to get rid of Ten Hag this summer to land a top-class new coach.

Jadon Sancho, Man Utd

That new manager, who could be Roberto De Zerbi, Thomas Tuchel or Graham Potter, is likely to reintegrate Sancho back into the senior squad.

There has been plenty of speculation about Ratcliffe engineering a clearout this summer, with Anthony Martial, Antony and Facundo Pellistri all under threat of being sold.

Those players departing would boost Sancho up the pecking order. He could then battle Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho for a starting spot out wide.

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