Jadon Sancho has been tipped to make an instant impression at Manchester United in a similar fashion to Wayne Rooney, according to one former Red Devils midfielder.
England winger Sancho is a man in demand after three impressive seasons with Borussia Dortmund, with Man Utd battling the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea for his signature.
Former Watford and Manchester City academy player Sancho never made a senior Premier League appearance before heading to Germany, but despite claims from some that the 20-year-old would have to deal with a lot of pressure at United, others believe he could make an instant impression if he was to return to his homeland.
Former Man Utd midfielder Owen Hargreaves has now explained why Sancho is well equipped to be a success if he moves to Old Trafford.
“A lot of people feel that young players will take time to develop. But if you look at players like Wayne Rooney and Jadon now, the great ones, the exceptional ones, figure it out,” he told BT Sport (via Goal).
“The game of football has become so structured and technical that a kid like him can bring his own style into the game and play with such creativity. It’s so hard to anticipate just what he’s going to do.
“Normally when you watch games of football, you know what is going to happen, whereas, with Jadon, he does things off the cuff almost like Neymar. That’s priceless because he can make things happen when teams sit deep. When there’s no space, Jadon finds space.
“I think that, like Wayne, put Jadon in the middle of whatever the league is in any country and he would thrive.
“I covered Dortmund’s game against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League and Sancho was better than anyone on that pitch – even Kylian Mbappe and Neymar. His level is exceptional. He just thrives on creating and scoring goals.”
Sancho faces a big decision over his future in the coming months. While it seems certain he will leave Dortmund – despite the German club’s best efforts to keep him – the England star will have to pick his next destination carefully.
And while Liverpool and Manchester City have established themselves as the two strongest teams in the Premier League at present, Hargreaves still believes there would be an appeal in moving to Man Utd for Sancho – and that he could achieve big things there.
“Jadon will know his own game and has to find what’s best for him,” Hargreaves explained. “But United have an exceptionally good group of young players coming through – and any top young player would want to be part of that.
“Obviously, Liverpool and Manchester City have moved away from everyone else in the Premier League, but United would still be a team to join. Things go in cycles. Man Utd will be back and the recruitment of a player like Jadon would help.
“He knows Manchester well because he was at City, but whoever gets him will be very fortunate. I know Sancho is going to cost a lot of money, but you have a player who, potentially for the next decade, is going to be a unique player to watch.
“Can he become a Ballon d’Or winner? Yes, because potentially he is off the charts. The impact he has had already has been quite astonishing.”