How Ten Hag's interest in Sancho's 'idol' could transform the Man Utd star's fortunes
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Erik ten Hag’s interest in Jadon Sancho’s “idol” Marco Reus could help transform the Manchester United winger’s fortunes.
United spent a year pursuing Sancho while the winger was dazzling the Bundesliga at Borussia Dortmund and ultimately paid some £73milliion to secure his services.
It was a statement transfer for United at the time - they had successfully lured one of the most sought-after players in world football. Then-United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær said the signing epitomised “the type of player I want to bring to the club”.
However, the 22-year-old has since struggled to make an impact under three United managers.
Despite signs of improvement at the start of the current campaign, when Sancho netted three goals and claimed one assist, his performances subsequently declined.
Indeed, he has not featured for United since the club’s 1-1 draw at Chelsea on October 22 - almost three months ago. In that time the 22-year-old has been in the Netherlands undertaking an individual training programme.
Overall, the attacker has only registered eight goals across two-and-a-half seasons at United - a dismal return considering his price tag.
However, the club’s interest in Reus could transform Sancho’s fortunes.
Reus’ influence on Sancho
While Sancho was in the Bundesliga he was one of the most productive wingers in Europe.
The England star netted 50 times and recorded 64 assists in just 137 Borussia Dortmund games, with a large proportion of those goal contributions being recorded while Sancho was just a teenager.
The player has credited a large part of his early success at Dortmund to Reus, who as captain played a part in shaping the teenager into a superstar.
Speaking to the Bundesliga website four years ago, Sancho explained: "I look up to Marco Reus because he's a very big player - I look up to him like an idol.
"It's good to have him on the pitch talking to me and giving me advice because when he tells me things I listen.
"I just have to keep taking that advice and learning as a player."
Sancho was speaking after registering a stunning four goals and six assists in his first 10 games of the 2018/19 Bundesliga campaign. He was just 18, sponging off Reus’ wealth of experience.
At Dortmund the youngster was tasked with weaving together the strands of the Dortmund attack, creating opportunities for himself but for others as well. He developed a fruitful partnership with Reus in particular, often providing for the German international.
If Sancho hopes to one day replicate his Dortmund form at United it would help to have the guidance of his “idol” Reus, once more.
United interest in Reus
Journalist Christian Falk has claimed, via Caught Offside, United are considering signing Reus in the summer.
The Borussia Dortmund star is poised to become a free agent at the end of the season and United are reported as “an option” when it comes to Reus’ next destination.
Indeed, his agent was allegedly in the stands as United beat rivals Manchester City 2-1 and subsequently held a meeting with Ten Hag, in which the United boss expressed an interest in the 33-year-old.
While United fans may be sceptical at the prospect of signing an ageing winger, who has put together just nine Bundesliga appearances this term, his signing could influence Sancho's form.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus, Football, Manchester United, Transfers, Erik Ten Hag, Borussia Dortmund