HomePREMIER LEAGUEManchester United has given Jadon Sancho an unexpected roadmap to follow.

Manchester United has given Jadon Sancho an unexpected roadmap to follow.

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Manchester United has given Jadon Sancho an unexpected roadmap to follow.

Man United winger Jadon Sancho is getting closer to returning to the team after a brief absence.

The writing was on the wall for Aaron Wan-Bissaka when Tyrell Malacia started at right-back in place of the suspended Diogo Dalot in Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage back in November.

Despite being one of just two senior right-backs in United’s roster, the former Crystal Palace man had only played four minutes of football all season and had not been named to a Premier League matchday squad since the end of August. He had fallen down the pecking order and was not in Erik ten’s league plans.

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The Dutchman’s decision to play a left-sided full-back on the right side of the back-four was telling, though not surprising. Wan-United Bissaka’s career appeared to have come to an end, and he found himself counting down the days until the January transfer window opened for business, allowing him to clinch an exit.

With only 11 days left in the transfer window, Wan-Bissaka appears to be as likely as Casemiro to depart Old Trafford before the bell. The 25-year-old has sprung from nowhere to try to rescue his United career, putting in a streak of brilliant displays.

Ten Hag, in contrast to Dalot, was unavailable for the trip to Fulham just over two months ago, n recent weeks, has put faith in Wan-Bissaka and given him the chance to prove his worth, changing the general opinion about his immediate future at Old Trafford. He has helped the Reds chalk up five clean sheets since the campaign resumed exactly a month ago, playing a key role in helping them tighten their grip on a top-four berth and reach the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup.

On Wednesday, his effort against his former club was deserving of a Man of the Match award. Not only did he make a game-saving tackle in the last seconds to prevent Wilfried Zaha a certain goal, but he also pushed forward at every opportunity and carried a bigger danger than Antony did in front of him.

His excellent performance against Palace came just four days after he sent some of Manchester City’s most polished talents one way and then the other during United’s derby win at Old Trafford. To nutmeg, he exuded confidence. Bernardo Silva nips away from Rodri and then pinches the ball away from Joao Cancelo’s outstretched leg, all in the space of a few seconds.

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Sancho was purchased to fix United’s long-term right-wing woes, so it must have been frustrating for him when the club invested an even larger price in signing Antony from Ajax just 13 months later. He had not, however, delivered, and Ten Hag thought the club needed to do something to reinforce that side of the play.

But, rather than sitting back and giving up on his United career, Sancho, with the help of Ten Hag, has taken action. During the World Cup break, he worked on an individual training program in the Netherlands with instructors recommended by Ten Hag, and has since returned to Carrington to prepare for a return to the squad shortly.

Time will tell if Ten Hag’s plan for the England international matches up, but it’s crucial not to get too excited too quickly. He has yet to prove himself in United colors, but with Ten Hag’s leadership and coaching methods, that may change rapidly.

There are some contrasts between his and Wan-situations, Bissaka’s not the least of which is that United have never shown any intention of selling the winger. However, both of their careers have come to a halt at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag has restored Wan-Bissaka, and there is no reason why Sancho cannot do the same.

Manchester United has given Jadon Sancho an unexpected roadmap to follow.

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