And it’s worth considering, not only when football and its fans play their part in the nationwide social distancing effort, but also in relation to Manchester United’s greatest history in this moment.
Jadon Sancho is on United’s radar before the summer transfer window, or whenever the next window opens again after the end of this troubled season.
You’d be hard pressed to find cynics who doubt Sancho’s ability. Even in the maelstrom of modern media, there is only one demanding voice: everyone agrees that the star of Borussia Dortmund and of England would be a superb signature for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Rio Ferdinand is at the forefront of the united aficionados who demand the signing of Sancho. The former central defender made a world record transfer defining his career (at the time) to United from Leeds in 2002 and has never looked back. He knows how a player can transform United and vice versa.
On Sancho at Old Trafford, he said, “I want Jadon to go to a team where he will play, improve and get trophies. He’s linked to United, Chelsea, PSG but I think United is the place he should go because I’m biased.
“Of course, he has to do it. If he’s wearing # 7, he should be there for the next 10 years. This is what this shirt deserves and demands.
“He is flying and is one of the best young children in the world right now. He’s a player with huge potential and he’s going to win over 100 million pounds.
“You have bought someone from your club for 10 years, it is huge money but I would take it and risk it. “
Ferdinand can sometimes tell the difference between a United cheerleader and an analytical expert, but he always wants the best for his old club.
The only problems for United, it seems, as they become more confident about loading Sancho, are the ramifications for some current players.
Where would adding Sancho leave Daniel James? What about the development of Mason Greenwood’s first team, especially if United sign Sancho and a new center forward?
They are two players who played in the right position of Sancho during the majority of the campaign of United. Solskjaer has great confidence in them, while the club has invested time and money in its development.
At 22 and 18 respectively, the two have time on their side and after promising campaigns this quarter, they will be ready to step up the gear next season. But Sancho could get in the way.
There is even talk that United could also sign a renowned striker like Harry Kane, Timo Werner or Moussa Dembele. But that would certainly hamper Greenwood’s progress – something Solskjaer will have a hard time continuing with, given his admiration for the 18-year-old.
Solskjaer said a few months after taking over the United States that “Mason Greenwood is a player for me”, and therefore the signing of Odion Ighalo’s loan was made in January. The Nigerian is a useful asset to the team, but he will not expect to start every game like, for example, Kane would. The signing of Ighalo on a permanent contract may appeal to United for the same reason.
Maybe it’s James who faces the biggest challenge. Because Sancho will expect to be a main man for United if he signs – and takes the # 7 jersey – as some have suggested.
The former Swansea winger was signed last summer as a team option, but quickly established himself as irresistible before his form disappeared. Solskjaer would like to keep James up his sleeve as an impact submarine, although the Welshman has other ideas.
He will support himself to get enough playing time on the right or left wing, depending on injuries and fluctuations in form which are natural with wide players.
In the end, it will be a balancing act for Solskjaer to keep a happy team. He has not had this problem so far in his United tenure.