The young Eng­lish­man is not doing well in Man­ches­ter at all.

Jude Bellingham. Belling­ham is the new Eng­lish star. He has already bro­ken Mbappe’s record and is not shy about mis­be­hav­ing on the field

Failed transition

Let’s start with the fact that Man­ches­ter Unit­ed were close to sign­ing Jadon San­cho a year ago. In the sum­mer of 2020, Sport jour­nal­ist Bild Chris­t­ian Falk report­ed that the clubs could not agree on the amount of the deal. The Red Dev­ils were will­ing to part with 98 mil­lion euros for the tal­ent­ed play­er. But Dort­mund resist­ed and set a price tag of 120 mil­lion. This was a smart move on the part of the Ger­man club, since Unit­ed were the only suit­or for San­cho and they could extract as much mon­ey as pos­si­ble from the Eng­lish. But Man­ches­ter Unit­ed did not plan to spend more on Sancho’s trans­fer than was offered the first time, and the nego­ti­a­tions end­ed there.

Borus­sia were pleased that they retained one of the stars in the team. The then coach Lucien Favre open­ly rejoiced: “We need San­cho, no ques­tion. Every­one was hap­py that he stayed at Borus­sia. We don’t need to talk at length about his strengths — there are many of them. He scores goals and scores a lot and is able to make a dif­fer­ence on the foot­ball field.”

But San­cho him­self remained unsat­is­fied. Dur­ing quar­an­tine, the winger gained a lit­tle weight and for a long time could not get into the right shape. After the Covid pause, he nev­er became the same. If in the 2019/20 sea­son the Eng­lish­man scored “17+17” using the “goal+pass” sys­tem in the Bun­desli­ga, then in the 2020/21 sea­son he scored only “8+12”, although he played six few­er match­es. The rea­son for this is injuries. If two years ago San­cho did not break down at all, last sea­son he missed a total of more than a month and a half.

Nev­er­the­less, in the sum­mer, Man­ches­ter Unit­ed com­plet­ed a deal to trans­fer San­cho, pay­ing 85 mil­lion euros for him. This is the third-largest trans­fer of last sum­mer — only Jack Gre­al­ish and Romelu Lukaku were more expen­sive.

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Post­ed by Jadon San­cho (@sanchooo10)

11 July.  London.  Italy —  England —  1:1, penalty —  3:2.  Gareth Southgate and Bukayo Saka (No. 25) after the penalty shootout. South­gate buried him­self. His sub­sti­tu­tions “on penal­ties” deprived the British of the title

Missed penalty in the European Championship final

After the end of the club cam­paign, the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship start­ed. On it, San­cho played in only three match­es: he came on at the end of the game with the Czech Repub­lic, played the entire meet­ing with Ukraine and was released on penal­ties in the final with Italy. In the series of 11-meter kicks, he took the fourth shot and did not con­vert his shot. Jadon felt ter­ri­ble after the game: “This is by far the worst feel­ing I’ve had in my entire career. I was ready and con­fi­dent, this is the moment you dream of as a child, that’s why I play foot­ball. These are the dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions in which you, as a foot­ball play­er, want to find your­self. I’ve scored penal­ties before at club lev­el, I’ve coached them count­less times for both club and coun­try, so I chose the cor­ner but this time I could­n’t score.”

But the worst thing is that there were peo­ple who began to harass the Eng­land play­ers who missed the penal­ty. Even British Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son respond­ed to this sit­u­a­tion: “This Eng­land team deserves to be praised as heroes, not racial­ly abused on social media. Those respon­si­ble for these ter­ri­ble abus­es should be ashamed of them­selves.”

How­ev­er, it is clear that San­cho suf­fered a severe emo­tion­al blow from which he need­ed to recov­er.

19 September.  London.  Ronal­do is divine — his fourth goal in three match­es. But Man­ches­ter Unit­ed were saved by Lin­gard and De Gea in a crazy game with West Ham

Tactical nuances

When sign­ing San­cho, Man­ches­ter Unit­ed planned to strength­en the left flank of the attack. This was also not­ed by the team’s head coach Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer: “Jadon per­son­i­fies the type of play­er that I want­ed to get into the team. He is an attack­ing foot­baller in the best Man­ches­ter Unit­ed tra­di­tion. He will be part of my line­up for years to come and we look for­ward to watch­ing him blos­som. His sta­tis­tics on goals and assists speak for them­selves, and Jadon will add fan­tas­tic speed, scor­ing instinct and cre­ativ­i­ty to us.”

But in his first eight match­es for his new club, San­cho has no goals or assists. And this, giv­en the amount paid for it, of course, excites the pub­lic.

Part­ly it’s a mat­ter of tac­ti­cal nuances. The first is San­cho’s role as a winger. At Man­ches­ter Unit­ed, only two play­ers are allowed to dis­rupt the team struc­ture — Bruno Fer­nan­des and Cris­tiano Ronal­do. Unlike Borus­sia, where San­cho could move from flank to flank and go to the cen­ter, here he is strict­ly tied to the edge.

The sec­ond rea­son is the active involve­ment of left-backs in the attack. Both Luke Shaw and Alex Telles often sup­port Unit­ed’s attack. There­fore, San­cho has to share the ball on the attack­ing flank. The same Shaw has already scored 1.5 this sea­son in the Pre­mier League xA (expect­ed assists), which is sev­er­al times more than Sancho’s — 0.06 xA.

The third point is the pres­ence of Ronal­do on the field. Cris­tiano often drops into mid­field, plays with some­one there, and only then moves to a high­er zone. The part­ners’ task is to create/free up space for Krish’s maneu­vers. Usu­al­ly Ronal­do opens up on one of the half flanks, receives the ball and looks for an oppor­tu­ni­ty to pass or shoot. It turns out that the part­ners must main­tain the struc­ture of the game while Cris­tiano is not at the fore­front. But San­cho him­self played about the same as the Por­tuguese at Borus­sia. Now he needs to adapt to Ronal­do, which not every­one can do (the same Pao­lo Dybala was nev­er able to learn this dur­ing his three sea­sons togeth­er at Juven­tus).

By the way, if Cris­tiano had not moved to Man­ches­ter this sum­mer, then Edin­son Cavani would have been an ide­al part­ner for San­cho. The Uruguayan attracts the atten­tion of defend­ers and active­ly par­tic­i­pates in press­ing, allow­ing his team­mates to build attacks using free zones. Cavani is always avail­able for a pass into the penal­ty area and is ready to do the job of a fin­ish­er.

How­ev­er, Sol­sk­jaer is con­fi­dent that Jadon will be able to inte­grate into the team sys­tem:

“San­cho will become stronger, I’m sure. We signed him because we see him as a top for­ward, and I haven’t changed my opin­ion about him. He is a young guy, only 21 years old, and he will improve.”

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Post­ed by Jadon San­cho (@sanchooo10)

England players console Bukayo Saka after missing a penalty in the Euro 2020 final Italy —  England. “Dude, you’re a leg­end.” What they write in Eng­land to play­ers who missed a penal­ty in the Euro final with Italy

Call-up to the national team and adaptation

As for San­cho him­self, despite the unsuc­cess­ful peri­od in his career, Gareth South­gate still called him up to the nation­al team for the Octo­ber 2022 World Cup qual­i­fy­ing match­es.

“As for Sancho’s sit­u­a­tion, I’m not sur­prised. The Bun­desli­ga is a dif­fer­ent tour­na­ment. There are sev­er­al good teams in the Ger­man cham­pi­onship. This is a great league for young foot­ballers. But in the Pre­mier League, all games are intense and hard-fought. Per­haps he is just begin­ning to under­stand this. Does he deserve to be called up to the nation­al team, judg­ing by his recent results? Prob­a­bly not. But we have invest­ed a lot in San­cho and we believe he will reach a high lev­el. I would like to talk to him and help with the adap­ta­tion process at Man­ches­ter Unit­ed. We want him to feel our faith in him,” this is how the head coach of the Eng­land nation­al team com­ment­ed on his deci­sion.

Maybe being in the nation­al team will invig­o­rate the young Eng­lish­man. Although San­cho, of course, will need time to get used to the Pre­mier League. But in any case, the first sea­son in Man­ches­ter can be spent get­ting used to the team and the league, but then he must begin to ful­ly recoup his invest­ment.

By Yara