Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund for a fee believed to be $100 million.
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Sancho, 21, is one of the top young wingers in the world and this signing brings an end to a year-long pursuit from United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer finally has his man.
The England international came through the academy setup at Watford and then Manchester City, and left City to join Borussia Dortmund in 2017.
He’s been a star in the Bundesliga since then and Sancho has agreed a lucrative five-year contract (with the option of an extra year) and is keen to make his Premier League debut for the Red Devils.
What has Sancho said?
“I’ll always be grateful to Dortmund for giving me the opportunity to play first team football, although I always knew that I would return to England one day. The chance to join Manchester United is a dream come true and I just cannot wait to perform in the Premier League,” Sancho said. “This is a young and exciting squad and I know, together, we can develop into something special to bring the success that the fans deserve. I am looking forward to working with the Manager and his coaching team to further develop my game.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer added: “Jadon epitomizes the type of player I want to bring to the club, he is a forward player in the best traditions of Manchester United. He will form an integral part of my squad for years to come and we look forward to seeing him blossom. His goals and assists records speak for themselves and he will also bring tremendous pace, flair and creativity to the team.”
What will he bring to United?
Solskjaer touched on some of Sancho’s qualities there and most importantly the London native will bring balance to their attack, as 50 goals and 64 assists in four seasons with Dortmund is some record.
He is able to play on either wing or centrally and his ability to run at defenses but also cut inside, take people on and create space for others, as well as provide an end product.
After being in the England squad and playing a bit-part role (which included an impressive display in the quarterfinal win against Ukraine) in their run to the EURO 2020 final, Sancho will be keen to prove this worth further. He has received huge levels of support after being one of the three young England players to miss a penalty kick in the final defeat to Italy as he, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka all received racist abuse on social media.
Sancho is not afraid to stand tall, take a chance and back himself and he will certainly have to do that at United as this will be his first-ever Premier League season.
With Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Daniel James, Edinson Cavani, Amad Diallo, Jesse Lingard and others at Old Trafford in the attacking areas this season, United are stacked.
But it is clear that Sancho will be a starter.
“Old Trafford will give him the platform he needs to release his untapped talent and perform at the highest level. For a player of his age, Jadon has already achieved a great deal and showed the courage to go and prove himself abroad. We all look forward to welcoming Jadon to the squad as we prepare for the new campaign,” Solskjaer added.
Where will he slot in?
It is likely he will play on the right wing and in an ideal world Solskjaer will have a front four of Rashford on the left, Fernandes central, Sancho on the right and one of Cavani or Martial up top. Not bad, right?
With Diallo, Greenwood, James and Lingard in reserve, United legitimately have two star-studded attacking lines for next season.
Of course, Sancho’s arrival is likely to spark some departures to balance the books (Lingard and James?) but the biggest losers from his arrival could be Rashford and Greenwood who will have to split minutes with the talented young winger.
Solskjaer and United are staying true to their word of snapping up young talent and after signing Sancho, extending Cavani’s contract to help nurture their young stars and chasing the likes of Erling Haaland and Harry Kane, you get a sense they’re not done.
The signing of Sancho is a signing of intent to Manchester City, and other PL rivals, that Solskjaer’s side aren’t content with finishing in second-place in the Premier League like they did last season.