Jadon Sancho has had a tricky time of things since he joined Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund in the summer.
Coming off the back of a season in Germany where he provided 16 goals and 20 assists, he has found the net just three times in 24 appearances in England, and is yet to provide an assist.
As a result, he was dropped from the most recent England squad for the November internationals, with Southgate citing his lack of game time as a main reason for this decision.
Jadon Sancho celebrates scoring his first goal at Old Trafford 🙌 pic.twitter.com/gbGtgwQHxi
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) February 4, 2022
And, despite netting his first goal at Old Trafford against Middlesbrough, Sancho could not prevent his side from exiting on penalties as their form continues to slump, with the once title-challengers now viewed as outsiders even to make Champions League football next season.
So why has he struggled?
Ferdinand claims the system is failing him
Now, speaking on his podcast Vibe with Five, former Manchester United and England legend Rio Ferdinand has revealed the key reason he believes Sancho has struggled. And, in his eyes, it is down to the lack of rhythm in the Manchester United side so far.
‘The game played to his strength, the passing and movement, some rhythm in the team,’ the former Red Devil explained.
‘If there’s no rhythm Sancho is not as good and effective. That’s what his problem’s been.’
That, however, will come with time, he suggests.
‘The players have got to identify what he’s good at.’
‘Some thought he would come in and take the ball from the edge of his box to the goal. That’s not his game. He’s about rhythm, one touch passing, playing and moving and getting people off balance with a feint’, Ferdinand told listeners.
‘He hasn’t been able to do that because the system at Man Utd has not worked yet. It’s left him in a vulnerable position’.
The contrast between Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United stylistically is a big factor too, argues the former England defender.
‘If he joins another team that have got a locked-down way of playing, a true understanding, a possession-based team and he thrives.
‘Dortmund had a way of playing which was fundamental in allowing them to perform at their best.’
‘United have invested in some players, but are still searching for identity, philosophy, a way of playing and it makes it difficult for players coming in, let alone those that are still there.’
It remains unclear just what the plan for Manchester United post Rangnick is, but they will need one if they are going to get the best out of their additions. Sancho is no exception.
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