Jadon Sancho is a £ 73million signing who could turn into a steal as his Manchester United career unfolds. Even before the former Borussia Dortmund striker puts on the United shirt, his price looks like a Black Friday buy.
For £ 8million more than a center-back Rúben Dias cost Manchester City, Ole Gunnar Solskjær acquires a 21-year-old who joins Mason Greenwood as a ‘generational’ footballer capable of lighting up the attack for a decade. If Sancho is integral to a 21st title for United, he will consider the fee more appropriate with a decimal point between his numbers.
This, remember, is a club that can grab millions on one transfer via image rights and a myriad of global trade links. If Paul Pogba is the current billboard player, his successor has just joined him. While the asking price for Harry Kane, who is six years older, is north of £ 150million, acquiring Sancho is a clever job of Ed Woodward, who can expect a rare amnesty on Twitter even in the age of rabid social media, because it shouldn’t be criticized. way.
What the Executive Vice President achieves by signing Sancho is elevating Solskjær’s side, while also boosting United’s glamor factor, as the South London boy, rich in goals and assists, is sprinkled with stardust. For the only English club whose appeal puts them in the Club Hollywood category along with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, his arrival is a statement that the world’s best young talent with their best years to come can and do choose United.
During the summers, when a Bastian Schweinsteiger or the disappointing Daley Blind arrived, signing a player like Sancho seemed like a world away. Now he joins a team comprising Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford.
Sancho was, of course, supposed to wear a United shirt last season. Instead, the transfer fell through after United valued him at around € 250m and walked away, with Solskjær still able to guide his side to second place, better than the season. former. What Sancho brings is a pedigree that shows the inclusion in the Bundesliga Team of the Year 2018-19 and 2019-2020, 38 goals in 104 appearances in this competition and 51 assists.
In the Champions League, the numbers are five goals in 21 games, with six assists. Creating a league goal every two outings and around one in three against the cream of the continent is impressive for a footballer who walks through the Old Trafford gate for just under the £ 75million United paid for Romelu Lukaku in July 2017.
With this further highlighting of Sancho’s price must come a warning that the market has fallen significantly due to the pandemic. Yet, whatever the cost, it is a wasteful investment if United fail to strengthen themselves further as they strive to catch defending champions Manchester City, whose own quest for The improvement comes in pursuit of Premier League Golden Boot winner Harry Kane and Jack Grealish, who may be England’s most talented player.
Last season United scored 73 times in the league: 10 short of City, who are billed as the masters of attack. Goals, goals, goals and more goals is United’s way too – a credo of which Solskjær, a former Sir Alex Ferguson school striker, is a fitting keeper. Plotting 10 behind a daisy-chained city suggests that the front end of the side is not the weak part.
Not enough. Go through the 2020-21 final table and the goals column against United shows 44, far lower than City’s 32, which was lower and worse than Liverpool (42), Arsenal (39) and Chelsea (36).
Although in terms of goals scored they were just behind City – Liverpool, Leicester City and Tottenham (all 68) were second best – the draws put up 11 for Solskjær’s men and five for Pep Guardiola’s.
This indicates how the odd strike adjustment at each end is required: one less in the back or one more in the front. Sancho’s acquisition should respond to the latter but if Pau Torres from Villarreal, Raphaël Varane from Real Madrid or AN Other central defender is not added, then a speed sensitive Maguire-Victor Lindelöf axis should be as exposed as the United title claims.
Still, even a Torres or Varane may not be enough, as the United midfielder is as un-talented as City’s is oversubscribed via Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Ilkay Gündogan, Bernardo Silva and, if he is coming, Grealish.
But Sancho is a start. This is a clever business carried out relatively early in the market and sends a strong signal: that this is an arrival that not only improves the team, but can also be a gateway for d ‘other A-List rookies United need to face a sustained challenge for the title.