Former Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand thinks Erik ten Hag’s criticism of Jadon Sancho was intended to get a positive reaction from the winger.
Ten Hag left him out of Man Utd’s squad in their recent 3-1 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates; the manager claimed this was because of poor performances in training.
Sancho was not happy with this criticism, however. On social media, he stated that the claims he was not training properly are ‘completely untrue’. He added that he has been Man Utd’s scapegoat ‘for a long time’ and that this ‘isn’t fair’.
Ten Hag is thought to be furious with the 23-year-old for voicing his opinion so publicly. Stan Collymore has even suggested that Sancho will never play for Man Utd again as a consequence.
Sancho was linked with a move to Saudi Arabia before their summer transfer window shut on Thursday.
Al Ettifaq, who are managed by Steven Gerrard, were interested in him. They could not afford the £50m fee that would have followed an initial loan move, however, so a deal did not materialise.
Ferdinand: Ten Hag wants to see a reaction from Sancho
Ferdinand thinks that Ten Hag wants to see a positive reaction from Sancho, which suggests that the manager has not yet given up on the winger, who cost Man Utd £73m in 2021.
“I think he [Ten Hag] is working out a way in which he can trigger his player to get a positive outcome on the pitch, to get a performance on the pitch and consistently get those performances,” Ferdinand told TNT Sports.
“I think he’s trying different ways, and I think this is another way of him trying to get a reaction out of his player. All managers do it differently.”
Another former Man Utd legend, Ryan Giggs, is thinking along the same lines as his former teammate Ferdinand.
“For me, calling him out publicly is probably the last straw, or the last try, to get the best out of Sancho,” he told the Webby & O’Neill YouTube channel.
“The player can react and think, ‘Right, I’ll show him, and show the manager what I’m capable of’, or he can sulk and probably won’t get anywhere.”
With that in mind, it will be interesting to see if Sancho is included in the Man Utd squad for their next game against Brighton on September 16.