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Jadon Sancho will have a 'new role' at Man Utd thanks to Erik ten Hag

Daniel Marland

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Jadon Sancho will have a 'new role' at Man Utd thanks to Erik ten Hag

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has explained the role Jadon Sancho will play in his team after returning to action against Nottingham Forest.

The 22-year-old made his first appearance since October from the bench in Wednesday's 2-0 win at Old Trafford.

Goals from Anthony Martial and Fred in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final sealed a 5-0 aggregate win and a trip to Wembley for the first time since 2018 for the Red Devils.

With a huge clash against Newcastle United coming up later this month, Ten Hag will need as many players available as possible.

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He'll be bolstered by Sancho's comeback, with the England international replacing Antony midway through the first half.

Sancho occupied a more central position when he came on despite Bruno Fernandes still being on the pitch. Fernandes shifted out to the right wing and Sancho played just behind Martial in attack.

Ten Hag was asked about the tactical switch in his post-match interview, claiming Sancho can play the number 10 role going forward.

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He explained: "I think we have done that before. You move Bruno out and create also a different dynamic in the team, that is what we intended to do.

"Jadon, I know he can play as a 10 as well. He can play as a winger - he can play as a 10 - but often we mix it around and that is what I like. The position has to be occupied and it’s about the players keeping discipline to do that."

Sancho returned to action against Forest. (Image Credit: Alamy)
Sancho returned to action against Forest. (Image Credit: Alamy)

Fernandes' natural backup, Donny van de Beek, is out for the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury against Bournemouth last month.

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It means Sancho could play a vital part in United's hunt for a first trophy since 2017.

The former Borussia Dortmund man received a spine-tingling reception from the home end when taking to the pitch. He had a big smile on his face, as did Ten Hag.

The Dutchman continued: "Most important players enjoy football, which gives energy, that gives them the motivation to act and to perform.

Sancho and Ten Hag on the touchline. (Image Credit: Alamy)
Sancho and Ten Hag on the touchline. (Image Credit: Alamy)
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"I think it was great, the reception from the fans to him, and also that will give him even more a push to continue in the way he’s now acting, he's just started again, the restart he’s back at Carrington for two weeks, we see that smile and hopefully he can keep that and contribute to the team.

"He has really high standards, great capabilities to contribute to our team, especially now the team is improving, we’re playing more in the opposition half, his capabilities come in more in front and come in more, he can have more touches on the ball, that is what his game gives the best performances, the best platform to perform."

United return to action against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on February 4.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy & Man Utd/YouTube

Topics: Jadon Sancho, Manchester United, Erik Ten Hag

Daniel Marland
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