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Talking Tactics

New signings: Why Sancho is a perfect fit for Man Utd

Adrian Clarke 23 Jul 2021

Adrian Clarke explains how 21-year-old will improve Red Devils after signing from Borussia Dortmund

Adrian Clarke analyses players who have changed clubs this summer and can make an impact in 2021/22.

Jadon Sancho (MUN)

Sancho is a gifted young winger who guarantees goals and assists for Manchester United.

Across the last three campaigns with Borussia Dortmund, the 21-year-old has started an average of 25 league matches per season.

During that period Sancho produced more than one direct goal involvement per start, scoring 37 goals and providing 41 assists.

His addition to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's forward line provides Man Utd with a significant boost in firepower.

Sancho's career statistics
Season Starts Goals Assists
2018/19 26 12 14
2019/20 25 17 16
2020/21 24 8 11
Average 25 12.3 13.7

Sancho is predominantly right-footed but can operate anywhere across the forward line.

He impressed on both flanks and occasionally through the middle with Dortmund.

In order to balance United's starting XI, Sancho is likely to be deployed on the right wing, backed up by Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who is not as offensive-minded as left-back Luke Shaw.

When Shaw overlaps Marcus Rashford down that left side in 2021/22, expect to see Edinson Cavani, Sancho and Rashford inside the box looking to score goals. The trio are outstanding finishers.

With Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial also available, this United side is blessed with a plethora of goal threats. 

How Sancho scores and assists
2020/21 Assists Goals
Left channel 6 4
Centre 4 3
Right channel 0 0
Set-piece/penalty 1 1

Most of Sancho's direct goal involvements last season were from either central or left-sided areas.

He regularly made in-roads off the back of sharp runs in behind opposition right-backs and by swinging right-footed crosses into the penalty area from the left.

When used as a right winger, most of Sancho's end-product came when he moved infield into a more central position.

If Rashford misses the start of 2021/22 with a shoulder problem, Sancho should be used on the left of United's forward line which suits him well.

United scored six goals from fast breakaways last season and Sancho's style of play will only help them improve in that department.

He is quick and positive in the way he carries the ball towards goal, while using his pace to test defenders with rapid bursts in and out of possession.

This direct approach will help the Red Devils turn defence into attack more frequently.

Last season several teams racked up more "direct attacks" than Solskjaer's men, so Sancho's arrival is a stylistic boost.

Most direct attacks
2020/21 Direct attacks
Aston Villa 95
Leeds 74
Liverpool 72
Spurs 68
Man City 67
Arsenal 63
Man Utd 61
West Ham 61

Sancho's ball-carrying is also exceptional, with only three Bundesliga players completing more successful dribbles than the England international last term.

His key pass stats are just as impressive, a reward for his calm decision-making inside the final third.

How Sancho ranked in Germany*
2020/21 Per 90 Bundesliga rank
Dribbles attempted 6.4 2
Dribbles completed 3.4 4
Chances created 2.9 4
Big chances created 0.6 7

* Minimum 500 minutes played

Man Utd have recruited a brilliant young talent that is sure to energise the team and make them an even more formidable opponent.

More on Jadon Sancho

Part 1: Man Utd sign Sancho from Borussia Dortmund
Part 3: FPL additions: Double up on Fernandes and Sancho?
Part 4: FPL signings: Sancho will shake up midfields
Part 5: FPL experts on how Sancho will perform this season

Also in this series

Part 2: Olise can follow in Eze's footsteps at Palace
Part 3: Daka can be a copy of Vardy
Part 4: Firpo tailor-made for Bielsa's system
Part 5: White will transform how Arsenal play
Part 6: Bryan's wing wizardry gives Spurs new options
Part 7: Konate can be perfect partner for Van Dijk
Part 8: Perraud makes Southampton more attacking
Part 9: Grealish can take Man City up a level
Part 10: Bailey can fill Grealish void
Part 11: Mwepu the perfect partner for Bissouma
Part 12: Lukaku can emulate idol Drogba at Chelsea
Part 13: Varane the perfect partner for Maguire
Part 14: Armstrong can fill Ings' boots

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