If there is one club that is providing entertainment both on and off the pitch, it is Manchester United. The Red Devils, who have made an underwhelming start to the season, have in the last year faced several controversies. First, it was the case of Mason Greenwood, and then it was the Cristiano Ronaldo-Erik Ten Hag spat that ended with the former having his contract nullified. In the past week, two new issues have plagued the club: the opening of a domestic violence case against United’s winger Antony and the recent statement war between Erik Ten Hag and Jadon Sancho.
The English attacker joined United from Borussia Dortmund in 2021 in a deal worth €85 million but so far has failed to justify his price tag, scoring only 12 goals and providing six assists in 82 games. He has not started any game this season, making three substitute appearances. Sancho has fallen so far down the pecking order that he was not in the squad in the game against Arsenal.
After the game, when questioned over his absence, Erik Ten Hag said that the player was far from ready for the first squad based on training. “You have to reach a level every day at Manchester United, and we can make choices in the front line. So for this game, he was not selected,” the Dutch manager said.
However, Sancho hit back at the allegations in a post on X (formerly Twitter), saying that what was being said was false and that he was working hard in training. Sancho also promised that he would continue to fight for the badge.
Behind the scenes, though, the club have backed Erik Ten Hag, which means that Jadon Sancho could be pushed out. So, which clubs could be the ideal landing spots for Jadon Sancho?
Paris Saint Germain
Over the last decade, French club Paris Saint Germain have deployed a strategy of buying the best players at exorbitant fees to make a tea of superstars. However, while it has brought the team nine Ligue 1 titles, six Coupe de France, six Coupe de Ligue, and nine Trophee des Champions, they are yet to win a European trophy.
This has caused a change this summer, with the club allowing Lionel Messi and Neymar to leave and replacing them with Ousmane Dembele and Randal Kolo Muani. PSG are now looking to sign young, talented players who could turn into the superstars of tomorrow.
And Sancho fits the bill perfectly as he is young, fast, and could be the perfect player to add quality to the attack and also give a good squad depth. Luis Enrique also has a track record of getting the best out of young players, which is what Sancho needs at the current moment.
If Paris Saint Germain have started the trend of signing young, talented players to turn them into stars, Real Madrid have not only followed this strategy for years but also reaped its benefits Casemiro, Rodrygo, Aurelien Tchouameni, and their new attacking star Vinicius Jr are clear indications of it. And with the departure of Karim Benzema, Madrid will now look for attacking reinforcements. After his two underwhelming seasons, Sancho’s transfer valuation has fallen to €45 million (according to Transfermarkt), which is more than a fair price for a player of his calibre.
Moreover, Sancho has shown that when he plays regularly, few are better than him in the position. Madrid have also started to plan for the future, signing players such as Felipe Endrick, showing their trust in young players from which Sancho could benefit.
Saudi Pro League
The rise of the Saudi Pro League has been so rapid that now every other transfer is being linked to it. And it is with good reasons as the Saudi clubs have thrown money left, right, and centre at signing players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Aymeric Laporte, Riyad Mahre, among others. Even young platters in their prime or are yet to hit it, like Ruben Neves, Gabri Veiga, Jota, and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, now ply their trade in the league.
The acquisition of so many top players aligns with the country’s vision of achieving ‘the goal of increased diversification economically, socially, and culturally’ by 2030. So, the main aim of the league is to get all the top players available and then think about how to accommodate them in the squad and deploy the required tactics.
However, Sancho knows that with his talent, he still has the time to become one of the best players in the world, and excluding the money factor, there is little reason for him to go there.
It was at the Signal Iduna Park that the world got a glimpse of how precious of a talent Jadon Sancho was. During his time at the club, the attacker played 137 games, scoring 50 goals and providing 64 assists. These performances were why he was at the top of the transfer wish list of all top clubs across Europe.
And a return to the club could be the best thing for the youngster. He knows the club, its values, and the tactical system where he thrived, easily opening up the opposition’s defenses. However, the significant contention, even if a transfer to Dortmund, will be the transfer fee. Dortmund’s costliest buy to date has been Ousmane Dembele, who was bought for €35 million.
The best option could be an initial loan spell with a small fee followed by an option to buy at a much cheaper price.