Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag has publicly questioned Jadon Sancho after dropping the England international against Arsenal, prompting a backlash from the winger.
Former Man Utd striker Louis Saha believes Erik ten Hag’s treatment of disgraced winger Jadon Sancho has been “unnecessary”.
Sancho played no role on Sunday as Ten Hag’s United lost 3-1 at Arsenal. Marcus Rashford gave them a brief first-half lead, only thanks to goals from Martin Odegaard, Declan Rice and Gabriel Jesus to give the hosts the win.
After the match, Ten Hag mentioned that Sancho’s performance in training was the reason for his absence from the squad. The 23-year-old has issued his own public response, however, and Saha – who played for United during the Alex Ferguson days – believes the whole saga was avoidable.
“Sancho and Ten Hag are not a good situation, that’s not what you want to see,” Saha told Paddy Power. “We’ve seen managers open up unnecessarily and this was one of those times. You don’t need to drop a player and then expose them.
“[Sancho’s] he’s already not doing very well so he’s [ten Hag] put Sancho’s head under water a bit. It’s a private decision, sometimes the manager has to make a player’s name public, but in this case it was not necessary.
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“Of course Sancho has to defend himself, he thinks he has done well physically and in terms of commitment, and the manager is asking for more. It was not necessary from the manager; I’m sorry for both because it is an unnecessary situation.
“Sometimes these tough talks need to be private and even if you’re shouting and you’re not happy, you keep that for yourself and not for the journalists because look at the current situation. It puts Sancho in a situation where he has to defend himself. He is a professional and he wants to prove that he can play for the club, that’s why he defended himself.
Sancho has come off the bench in each of United’s first three Premier League games. However, after not even making the squad for the game against Arsenal, with youngsters Facundo Pellistri and Daniel Gore on the bench ahead of him, the former Borussia Dortmund star was candid in his comments.
“Please don’t believe everything you read. I won’t allow people to say things that are completely untrue, I did great in training this week,” he wrote on social networks. “I think there are other reasons for this case that I won’t go into, I’ve been a scapegoat for a long time, which isn’t fair!”
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Sancho’s future at United remains uncertain, just two years after joining from Dortmund for a reported £73million. Clubs in Saudi Arabia and Turkey still have time to complete a deal before their respective transfer windows close, but if a deal cannot be agreed, it will remain on United’s books until at least January.
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