Manchester United have put no set date on Jadon Sancho’s return to first team training after admitting the forward is battling physical and mental issues. Manager Erik ten Hag has placed Sancho on a person training programme with coaches in Holland in an effort to arrest an alarming drop off in form and confidence.
And while the club are in regular contact with the player the United boss admitted he stays unsure as to when Sancho will return.
“We didn’t see him within the last games for United as he wasn’t in the best fitness state and he’s now on a person programme. We wish him to complete that and hopefully see him back soon,” said the United boss. “We wish to bring him back as quickly as possible but I can’t give a prognosis of when that shall be.”
Alarm bells have been ringing at Old Trafford for nearly two months after Sancho’s decent displays on the pre-season tour and robust begin to the season tailed off. Missing out on Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad in November was understood to been a blow to Sancho who responded to the snub by pulling the plug on his social media channels.
Ten Hag admitted Sancho has subsequently lost physical condition to the purpose where he was not even fit enough to go on United’s winter training camp in Spain last week.
“He was good on tour and he played some good games like Liverpool, Leicester and Arsenal but after we got a drop of level,” said the United boss. “Sometimes you don’t know why or what’s causing it. That’s what we’re doing now, attempting to research and now we attempt to get him back there.
“It’s a mixture of physical but additionally mentally.”
Sancho, 22, has struggled to justify a weighty price tag since an £85million switch from Borussia Dortmund to United in July 2021. After 50 goals and 64 assists in 137 games in 4 seasons within the Bundesliga, his eight goals and 4 assists in 52 games within the red of United have been underwhelming.
Suggestions United were considering moving for Christian Pulisic at Chelsea last month in addition to the relentless progress being shown by highly-rated left winger Alessandro Garnacho have added to the pressure.
Sancho has not appeared on the sphere for United because the match against Chelsea on October 22. “In the beginning of the league he played rather well, after the break his performance was lower,” added Ten Hag. “First you observe it then also the stats back it up.
“In the beginning of the season he had goals and assist and his key moments and key actions and it became less and fewer. Sometimes there are circumstances with fitness and mood. Now he’s on a physical programme and our aim is to get him back as quickly as possible.”